“We've got a lot of margin for improvement”
After the end of the obligatory winter testing ban and the traditional presentation of the Ducati Marlboro Team on the snows of Madonna di Campiglio, Loris Capirossi and his new team-mate Casey Stoner took to the track today for
the first time in 2007, the first year of the new 800cc MotoGP technical regulations, at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
The three-day test, which sees the participation of all the top MotoGP teams, is one of the most interesting appointments of the start of the season because it is the first time riders and teams have taken to the track in almost two months and because it allows them to test in similar conditions, albeit with much higher temperatures and humidity, to what they will encounter in the races.
The repeated showers over the last few days and the expected rain for today led the Ducati Marlboro Team riders to test non-stop from ten in the morning to around 4.30 pm in the afternoon. In the end the rain failed to materialize but Capirossi and Stoner concluded their first day of testing more than one hour before the scheduled track closure as they had already completed the required preparatory work in setting up the Desmosedici for the next two testing days.
Loris Capirossi (41 laps - 2m03.537s)
"It was not bad for the first day of testing after a break of over six weeks", commented Loris Capirossi after his first contact with the track. "We've still got a few problems in the general set-up of the bike but it's normal at this stage of the year. We are here for this reason and for sure we've got a lot of margin for improvement. Today we tested a few things that worked and we put aside some other solutions as we have organised the work for the next couple of days.
We have opted to test a few more things tomorrow and I think we can improve a lot. I'm also very confident about the performance of the tyres because even though we haven't yet begun to test with the new ones, the ones we have used today already perform really well".
Casey Stoner (55 laps - 2m03.940s)
"I am very pleased with the way things have gone today", declared Casey Stoner, who tested the Italian machine for the third time. "We have made a lot of progress since the Jerez test even though we still have to improve some of the characteristics of the engine. I am really pleased with the tyres: the front is already perfect, the rear is good and for sure we can improve. However my best time was set with a rear that had already done an entire race distance and that's a good sign! The team is working really well and I already feel part of the family!".