Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa concentrate on the front end of their Desmosedici GP5. Testing continues tomorrow and Thursday.
Doha (Qatar), 1 March 2005 - After returning home from Australia, Loris Capirossi, Carlos Checa and the Italian team's engineers returned to the track for more testing today in Qatar. This is the final test of the team's winter schedule, and comes just a couple of weeks before the first of two official 2005 MotoGP championship IRTA tests scheduled for Barcelona on March 18-20.
Development work on the Ducati Demosedici GP5 is continuing non-stop and the Ducati Marlboro Team has concluded positively the first of the three scheduled days of testing at the new Losail circuit, which was inaugurated last year.
A milder climate (27° air/47° track) than that recorded in the 2004 GP helped Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa get the best out of the session, but strong winds along the long Losail straight inevitably conditioned the work of all the riders.
The circuit, which continues to offer little grip, is made up of a series of linked curves and requires high cornering speed: for this reason the Ducati Marlboro Team engineers focussed mainly on the front end set-up of the bike.
Numerous tests were carried out with different suspension and front geometry settings. Loris and Carlos also shared the work with the front race tyres brought by Bridgestone, each rider trying out several different types.
Loris Capirossi ended the first day of testing in Qatar with a best time of 1m58.92s in his total of 45 laps.
"I have to admit that it wasn't bad for the first day of testing" commented the Italian rider. "Today we concentrated on different suspension set-ups, in particular at the front of the bike. The track is in virtually the same condition as it was during last year's GP and I hope that it will improve in the next couple of days".
Spanish rider Carlos Checa, who set pole position at this circuit in 2004, ended the first day of testing with a total of 65 laps to his name, the quickest being 1m59.14s.
"I lapped pretty close to the time I set last year and as it was only the first day, I was quite pleased with that" declared Carlos at the end of the day. "Today we did a lot of work on the front suspension and on my riding position. In the afternoon the track had already improved from the morning, and hopefully this trend will continue for the next two days."
The Ducati Marlboro Team will continue testing at Qatar on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 March.
Source: Ducati Corse s.r.l.