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Dec 13, 2001

Ducati Finishes Test at Valencia

From a Ducati press release:<BR><BR>WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP<BR>Testing - Valencia (Spain)<BR>Thursday 13th December 2001<BR><BR>DUCATI DUO POWER TO SUPERB TIMES IN SPAIN<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) both came close to the official track record at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia as the factory Ducati Corse squad completed its final test of the year in southern Spain.<BR><BR>In sunny conditions (air 11-16° C / track 13-23° C) and on a perfect track, WSBK champion Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) fired a warning to his rivals by posting a time of 1:34.70 on qualifying tyres. The 32-year-old Australian, who also set a time of 1:35.36 on race tyres during his 55 laps today, expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the tests and said he was looking forward to defending his title next year.<BR><BR>"I'm very pleased because we made a few small modifications to the settings since the last time we tested here in November and you can see the results", declared Bayliss. "A time of 1:34 shows the progress we have made, the problem now is to find that little bit more, because for sure we won't go as fast as this in the race. The last time we were here I didn't try a qualifying tyre, but now we got very close to the circuit record. On the results of these tests, I'll have to keep an eye on Haga and Ben next year because both went really quick here. The dice I had with Haga for a few laps yesterday reminded me of Assen and it should be great racing against him again next year!"<BR><BR>Ducati L&M's Ben Bostrom was also on superb form throughout the two-day test at one of his favourite tracks despite not feeling particularly well. The 27-year-old Californian, who was slightly quicker than Bayliss, posted a best time of 1:34.56 on qualifying tyres, just a fraction of a second away from the outright circuit record, 1:34.496, set by Yamaha's Max Biaggi in Valencia GP qualifying two months back. Bostrom, who also recorded a best lap of 1:35.31 on race tyres during his 56 laps, was convinced he could have smashed the circuit record.<BR><BR>"We just needed an extra half-hour and I would have smashed the lap record because the bike just keeps getting better and better", said Bostrom. "I found a great Q-tyre but there was traffic on the final lap and the sun was in my eyes, otherwise I would have done a 1:34 flat with it. I did my fastest lap on qualifying tyres this morning, but the bike feels great on race tyres as well. We've got a good set-up, and I already feel really excited about next year."<BR><BR>Ducati Infostrada rider Ruben Xaus did not take part in the two-day Valencia test as he was involved in promotional activities for the Italian manufacturer. The 23-year-old tested here with Bayliss in November.<BR><BR>SBK RECORDS (all held by Corser, Aprilia): qualifying 1:35.504; superpole 1:36.185; lap record 1:36.128.<BR><BR>UNOFFICIAL TIMES: 1. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M) 1:34.56; 2. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1:34.70; 3. Martin (Ducati DFX) 1:35.90; 4. Antonello (Ducati DFX) 1:36.90.<BR><BR>The next Ducati Corse test is scheduled for January 24-26, 2002 at Kyalami, South Africa.