“We are quite happy with the situation”
The final day of testing in Qatar for the Ducati Marlboro Team concluded positively with both riders satisfied with their race simulation.
As in Sepang and Phillip Island, Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner found a good compromise
for the bike and tyre set-up in race configuration which enabled them to lap at an excellent pace. Despite Thursday's progress, the team still has to find the best solution for the qualifying set-up.
Stoner is becoming more and more familiar with his Desmosedici GP7 machine even though the Australian did not complete many laps because he first had a gearbox problem and then, like several other members of the team, felt sick and opted to wrap up testing early.
The team now returns to Italy and will almost immediately head off again next week for the official IRTA MotoGP tests at Jerez in Spain from 23-25 February.
On the Sunday, as per tradition, the one-hour timed practice session will be broadcast live on television at 14.05 CET.
Loris Capirossi (62 laps, best time: 1m56.807s)
"I am quite pleased with the way things went today in race configuration. I did a complete 22-lap race simulation at a good pace. The tyres remained pretty constant throughout and we look to be in pretty good shape in comparison with the others: the bike has improved and so have the tyres. There's still a lot of work to do with qualifying tyres however. For the moment we are unable to get the best out of them. We have to work a lot with Bridgestone to avoid starting too far down the grid and risk jeopardizing the race. If we analyse everything today, we are quite happy with the situation. We still have to improve the set-up of the bike when there is not much grip, like yesterday, but we are OK if track conditions are good. We went well at Sepang, Phillip Island and here.
Next week Jerez will be an important session to bring these winter tests to a conclusion"
Casey Stoner (36 laps, best time: 1m56.834s)
"It was another positive day. I was unable to finish the race simulation I was doing because they put the red flags out after 14 laps after someone crashed, but I was going well until then. We tried several different tyres which were satisfactory, so was happy with that. Today I didn't do many laps because I didn't feel well, like several other guys in the team, and I decided to call it a day before the end of the session and not test the qualifying tyres. In the last three days, and since the start of the 2007 tests in Sepang, we have gradually improved and the feeling with the Ducati is getting better all the time. It will be interesting to go back to Jerez next week. For the first time we will test at a circuit where we have already been and this will help to check on the progress we have made so far "