– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Ducati, Capirossi & Bayliss Setting The Pace At Jerez

Watch out for Ducati next year. Current test statistics for the Ducati MotoGP team show that Ducati, although still early in its development curve, has a more than competitive motorcycle to do battle with … even if the season were to start tomorrow.

Valentino Rossi, race winner at this past May’s MotoGP round at Jerez, set pole position with a 1:42.193 and the race’s fast lap of 1:42.92 on the fourth go around of the race. Capirossi’s best lap during the test was a 1:42.10, and he was able to lap consistently in the 42s with the “four pulse” engine.

Troy Bayliss turned in a best time of 1:44.5, which may seem a bit off the pace until you realize that this test is his first visit to the track … and his bike was basically a test mule for the day. Bayliss rode with the “twin-pulse” engine, while testing different suspension, chassis and front rim diameter combinations. This gave Bayliss a lot to think about while learning a new track, yet still trying to go fast enough to give meaningful feedback about new parts and machine settings.

If progress continues as it has so far, Ducati may be in a position to pull off a major upset in the final 2003 MotoGP standings.

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