Monza (Italy), Thursday 9th April: The Ducati Xerox Team today completed day one of a two-day test session at the Autodromo Nazionale of Monza. The factory riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, fresh from their respective successes at Valencia last weekend, were confronted with a damp and dirty track for the first test session of the day which made things more tricky but did not prevent the team from getting straight to work.
As the track dried out the two Ducati riders were able to clock up 89 laps (Fabrizio) and 88 laps (Haga), recording in the process some very fast times on board their 1198 machines, the quickest being a 1m45.7s for Michel and 1m45.8s for Nori – Michel’s time was the quickest recorded today.
Noriyuki, currently leading the rider classification with an advantage of 40 points over second-placed Spies, spent time testing the various development tyres provided by Pirelli and worked with his team to try various rear suspension settings. Michel meanwhile worked to refine the setting of his 1198.
The rain that had threatened to disrupt proceedings in the afternoon never materialised and so the day was deemed successful and work will continue tomorrow, in anticipation of the fifth round of the championship to be held here at Monza on the weekend of 11th May.
Also on track today were the two Ducati Xerox Junior riders Xavier Simeon and Daniele Beretta, as well as the Suzuki, BMW and Yamaha Superbike outfits and the Aprilia test team.
“Today has been very positive. We have tried different tyre solutions and I had quite a good feeling for the most part. This morning the track was partly wet but once it dried out I was able to make some good lap times, pretty fast. I also tried a new suspension setting but it is not yet clear whether it might be beneficial on this track; we’ll continue to work tomorrow and see how it goes.”
“It hasn’t gone at all badly; we tried a new setting and I feel much more comfortable using that. We also tested all the tyres that Pirelli brought for us to use and I had a good pace and completed some consistently fast laps, with times in the high 1m45/low 1m46 bracket. We were going faster than we did during the race here last year so I’m satisfied with today’s progress.”
Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m45.7s; Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1m45.8s; Spies (Yamaha) 1m45.9s; Sykes (Yamaha) 1m45.9s; Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1m46.3s; Corser (BMW) 1m46.3s; Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m46.8s; Muggeridge (Suzuki) 1m47.1s; Xaus (BMW) 1m47.2s
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