Doha (Qatar), 3 March 2005
The Ducati Marlboro Team concluded the third and final day of testing at the Losail circuit in Qatar, the fourth scheduled test for the development of the Bridgestone-shod Ducati Desmosedici GP5.Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa made the best of today's final session, which took place in perfect weather conditions (28° air/33-50° track) on a surface that gradually improved over the three days.
The Qatar circuit is particularly tough on the front tyre, so both riders concentrated on getting the best performance from the bike exclusively in a race configuration.
Ducati Marlboro Team engineers also managed to identify several promising set-up and tyre solutions, which clearly have to be developed in the next scheduled tests before the start of the championship.
Loris Capirossi succeeded in improving on yesterday's performance, and the Italian recorded a best time of 1m57.320s in his 54 laps."I am quite pleased with the work we have done over the past three days. We're still not 100% right with the front but we are on the right path" commented Capirossi. "The GP5 is also going really well on this track and I am sure that the tyres will show further improvement before we come here to race in October. I didn't want to use a qualifying tyre because we concentrated on development work that was far too important to be distracted by the search for sensational times: we are working calmly, there will be time for that in the future".
Team-mate Carlos Checa was just a fraction of a second behind Loris, the Spanish rider recording a best time of 1m57.350s in his 60 laps."We got through a lot of work today: it wasn't easy and I think that everyone should be pleased with the results obtained" declared Checa. "We improved a lot since the first day but what is really good is the constant progress that we made: it means that we worked well on a track that last year didn't give much satisfaction either to Bridgestone or to the Ducati Marlboro Team. We are improving all the time and this test puts me in a good frame of mind for the future".
With the start of the 2005 MotoGP championship just around the corner, the development of the Desmosedici GP5 is continuing in parallel with the promising partnership with the Japanese tyre constructor.
The Ducati Marlboro Team's next testing appointments are as follows:
March 18-20, Barcellona - IRTA Test
March 25-27, Jerez de la Frontera, IRTA Test