IRTA team tests, Catalunya, Spain

March 19 2005


Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa tried the factory's new engine-braking system for the first time at Catalunya today. Both men reckoned the new system, which has been extensively tested by test rider Vitto Guareschi, to be very promising. However, their progress was interrupted by two unrelated tumbles - Capirossi suffering a highside crash on the exit of turn three, Checa slipping off as he rode through the first chicane. Both riders will be able to continue testing tomorrow, the last day of this three-day teams test session.

"The crashes were a shame because they interrupted our work and prevented us from completing today's tyre testing programme with Bridgestone," explained Ducati Marlboro Team Technical Director Corrado Cecchinelli. "On the other hand we are happy that both Loris and Carlos were able to test the new engine-braking system for the first time. Vitto has done a lot of debugging and set-up work with the system and both our Factory riders reckon it's already good and neither of them had any problems with it. We may continue testing it at Jerez next week, because tomorrow we want to focus on testing tyres. I think the system is a very promising new development, though it's too early to say when we will race with it. All I can say about the system at this stage is that it's special software that manages both engine and clutch for improved stability during braking, whereas last year we used an idle-control system. Some people seem to think we are using a semi-automatic gearbox here but we have no such thing. We tested a semi-automatic gearbox on a Superbike some years ago but we've never tried one on our MotoGP bike."


Loris Capirossi evaluated the new engine-braking system this morning, focusing more on development work than on lap times. This afternoon he was lucky to escape pretty much unscathed from a spectacular highside tumble. The Ducati Marlboro Team man fell as he powered out of turn three.

"We started the day testing the new engine-braking system which seems to have good potential but, of course, needs more development work," said Capirossi, 12th quickest today. "Because we were focusing on evaluating the system we weren't able to really work on the rest of the bike. So we still haven't found the perfect set-up for this track, which is what we will work on tomorrow."


Carlos Checa was baffled by his crash, which happened midway through turn two (the left-hander in the first chicane) with no brake or throttle input. The Ducati Marlboro Team rider suffered bruising to his left shoulder and calf and underwent treatment at the Clinica Mobile to ensure he's in good shape for testing tomorrow.

"The crash stopped me from doing more work on the new engine-braking system, which was a shame," said the Spaniard who ended the day 14th quickest. "I only didi two runs with this system, so I didn't have enough time to fully understand it but I'm sure we will keep working on it at the next tests".

Capirossi: 1'43.731

Checa: 1'43.882

Source: Ducati Corse s.r.l.

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