Valencia : Ducati - Day Two
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss will start tomorrow's final race of the 990cc era from the front row following a storming performance in today's enthralling qualifying session. This is the team's third double front
row of the year after Jerez and Mugello.
The remarkable Bayliss, who wrapped up his second World Superbike title for Ducati earlier this month, was second quickest, just two tenths off pole, even though this is his first MotoGP outing of the year. The result equalled his best-ever MotoGP grid position, achieved at Jerez in 2003.
Capirossi was less than a tenth down in third place and is feeling confident for tomorrow's race in which he aims to secure third overall in the World Championship.
Both men ran up front throughout the session, setting a rapid pace on their Bridgestone race tyres, then getting the best out of their Bridgestone qualifiers. Among the supporters in the team's pit this weekend are members of the America's Cup team Luna Rossa, including skipper Francesco De Angelis, currently based at the port of Valencia.
Troy Bayliss, 2nd fastest, 1m 31.210s
"It's been a great weekend so far, now I'd just like to finish it off with a good result. This is a great opportunity to finish the story I started with the Desmosedici in 2003 because this is the last 990cc MotoGP race, so I really appreciate getting the ride. I'm back with my old guys from this team in 2004 and I've come with a few guys from Superbikes, Ernesto Marinelli, Paolo Ciabatti and Davide Tardozzi, so I've felt at home all weekend. We expected quite a bit before we came here even though I hadn't been on this year's bike or on Bridgestone tyres.
We didn't put any pressure on ourselves, we've just taken it step by step and every session we've got better. The bike and tyres are obviously working pretty good, though we'll be looking for a little more in the morning because you've never got a perfect bike. To be on the front row is so important here. Now I hope to get a good start and be part of the race."
Loris Capirossi, 3rd fastest, 1m 31.307s
"Troy and I are like wine - the older we get the faster we get! I am very happy with the work we've done today, especially this morning when I did a semi-race simulation of 20 laps, maintaining a very good pace throughout. This afternoon I started on new race tyres and managed a 32.2 which is really good. We will have to wait and see what the conditions will be tomorrow but I think we are pretty strong because that race simulation suggests we can be fast all race. Furthermore, it's great that we are starting from the front row because overtaking here is very difficult."
Federico Minoli, president and CEO Ducati Motor Holding
"Troy is the promising young man of motorcycling! We are very happy for him, he's a great racer and a great friend of Ducati. We gave him the present of racing here and he has given us the present of a front-row start. Loris is as strong as ever. To have two bikes on the front row for the last 990 race is a dream come true. Tomorrow will be interesting because the times are so close. We will enjoy the day and see what happens."