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Author: Ducati Corse Press Release
Posted on: Tuesday, Apr 05 2005

Capirossi and Checa have enjoyed some success during winter testing. Capirossi topped the time charts twice - at Valencia last November and at Sepang in January - proving that he is full of fight. Checa meanwhile set the pace at Jerez last November but had to miss last month's final Jerez tests after sustaining a shoulder injury at Catalunya.Both men are confident in the performance of the 2005 Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP5, the latest version of the immensely powerful V4 which roared onto the World Championship scene in 2003, taking its first pole position at Jerez and its first victory at Catalunya. The 2004 bike took longer to get up to speed but was a real force by the end of last season, scoring podium finishes at the final two races and taking a new lap record at the Australian GP.During the winter Ducati Marlboro Team engineers have worked closely with their technical partners, including Bridgestone and Shell Advance, to build on that progress and create a totally balanced machine for 2005. The big red Duke is already one of the most awesome machines in MotoGP, producing more than 230 horsepower and capable of exceeding 330kmh."Our off-season testing has gone very well, we're in much better shape than we were at the start of last season," says Ducati Marlboro Team MotoGP project manager Livio Suppo. "The factory and the team have worked hard this winter and I think we've done a good job. The bike has improved in many areas, but while the most difficult thing to achieve at this level of performance is overall balance, I think this year's machine is a very balanced package. "Both our riders have done many thousands of kilometres of testing, now they finally get to do what they love doing - racing! Loris has shown his speed throughout the winter, he is definitely ready to race. Carlos has also been very fast during testing. It was a real shame he missed our most recent Jerez session but he went very well when we tested there last November, so I don't think missing the tests should be a problem for him".Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli has been working with Capirossi and Checa throughout the winter and knows exactly what is required for this vital season-opening GP. "There are some fast corners at Jerez and riders need a lot of confidence to attack these turns," he says. "Plus they need good power delivery because you use a lot of gas through these corners. Riders also need big confidence in the front end so they can attack the turns. The track is a good mix - it's got no long straights but plenty of fast turns and some hairpins, so you need a well balanced bike."CAPIROSSI UP FOR FIRST JEREZ MotoGP PODIUMHard to believe, but Loris Capirossi commences his 16th World Championship season at Jerez this weekend, which means the 32-year old has spent exactly half his life on the GP circuit! And, maybe even harder to believe, the evergreen Italian will be going for his first premier-class podium at the track. Although Capirossi has been racing at Jerez since 1990 he has only scored three podiums at the track (in 125s and 250s, including a 250 win in 1998). "I like the track a lot, but there have been times when I've not had so much luck at Jerez," says Capirossi, the second most experienced rider on the MotoGP grid, after Alex Barros. "Jerez is a very interesting track for the rider - there are a lot of fast corners and the circuit is very up and down, so you have to deal with changing camber. But the best thing about Jerez is the fans - they are really into the racing and they make a lot of noise! Most of all I'm just really happy to be racing again this weekend. We have worked hard all through the winter, working towards the racing season. The bike is much better than the first part of last year, much more balanced, and I'm impressed with the work Bridgestone is doing. The qualifying tyres I tested at Jerez a few days ago were excellent, the rear race tyres were also good and even the fronts worked well."

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