“It wasn't really a useful day for anybody”
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi made the best of changeable weather conditions at Jerez today, continuing development work on the Desmosedici GP7. Both men ran up front in the wet and the dry, Stoner
second fastest overall, Capirossi a close seventh quickest.
This morning's rain did at least allow the Australian and the Italian to test the 800 for the first time in wet conditions. The circuit started to dry this afternoon but damp patches and cool track temperatures (a maximum of 24 degrees) prevented them from getting close to lap-record pace. Nonetheless the team is happy that the GP7 seems to have improved since they tested here last November.
This three-day outing is the final test session before the 2007 MotoGP World Championship commences in Qatar on March 10, so the team hopes for good weather over the next two days.
Casey Stoner, 32 laps - 2nd fastest, 1m 42.634s
"We were competitive in the dry and the wet today but it wasn't really a useful day for anybody because the weather was so on and off. We did get some dry time at the end, though there was still some water around, so we couldn't really get any good sense from anything and we couldn't use proper tyres because the track was too cold and wet. When it started drying out we worked on a problem I've had with the rear-end pumping when I'm on the gas. We had it here last November and we seemed to solve it in Phillip Island and Qatar, so if we get decent weather over the next couple of days we should be able to get it sorted out. I only got a few laps in the rain, so I was getting used to the Bridgestone tyres because I've never ridden them in the wet.
I'm very, very happy with the front, it's similar to the dry, it gives a very good feeling."
Loris Capirossi, 21 laps - 7th fastest, 1m 43.475s
"It's been a strange day with track conditions always changing. At first we did some laps in the wet and the bike felt good with rain settings. When the track improved I felt that the bike works a lot better than it did last November, when we had a few problems. I'm pretty happy because the GP7 worked well during tests at Sepang, Phillip Island and Qatar, and if it works well here too that suggests we can be competitive at all the races. I stopped a bit early today because there was no point trying to go faster when the track isn't in really good condition. Tomorrow I plan to do a long run, if conditions are good enough."