“We have room for improvement”
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi made good use of today's much-improved weather at Jerez, Stoner making excellent progress with his GP7 while Capirossi learned much in his efforts to find the best settings for this
Stoner ran up front throughout most of the day, improving his GP7's corner-exit behaviour and clocking some consistently fast times on race tyres. Unlike some riders who used qualifying tyres today to achieve quick one-off laps, both Ducati Marlboro Team men preferred to stick with race tyres as they continued working towards finding the ideal bike set-up and tyre choice for the Spanish GP which takes place here a month from now on March 25.
Tomorrow's final day of Jerez action includes an official 40-minute timed and televised ‘qualifying' session, billed as an hors d'oeuvre to MotoGP's long-awaited first 800cc season which gets underway with the Qatar GP on March 10.
Casey Stoner, 47 laps - 6th fastest - 1m 41.071s
"We worked well today, we made a lot of changes and most of them have been quite positive. We got down and down in the lap times and have been reasonably consistent too. And we largely fixed the rear pumping problem we'd had with a rear tyre and by improving the engine management. I'm really happy with the way that's gone today. Tomorrow we need to come back with the settings we've got and make some more improvements because although the race pace we've got now isn't too bad we could probably improve a few tenths a lap.
I didn't really get enough track time today because we had a couple of little glitches, nothing major, so I could've done with a few extra laps before the conditions started to turn a bit cold."
Loris Capirossi 65 laps - 14th fastest - 1m 41.590s
"Today has been a difficult day. We tested a few things but we haven't found the right set-up yet, I can't seem to get really good traction. To tell the truth I'm not really worried because I saw Casey going faster, so I know we have a margin for improvement and I'm confident we will be able to improve the set-up tomorrow. We won't think too much about the afternoon's ‘qualifying' session, which is fun and a good show for the public, because we want to concentrate again on preparing the bike for next month's race here. We haven't tested any qualifying tyres because it's pointless when you're not yet totally okay with the settings. We'll see tomorrow, we have room for improvement".