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Jan 27, 2002

Ducati Finishes Testing In South Africa

From a press release:<BR><BR>DUCATI CORSE PRESS INFORMATION<BR><BR>WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP<BR><BR>Testing - Kyalami (South Africa)<BR><BR>Saturday 26 January 2002 <BR><BR>DUCATI CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL THREE-DAY TEST AT KYALAMI<BR><BR>Ducati Infostrada riders Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus completed their first 2002 run on the new Ducati 998R Factory bikes at Kyalami, South Africa today, wrapping up a three-day test session with French tyre manufacturer Michelin.<BR><BR>After concentrating on engine and suspension settings over the first two days, the world champion and his Spanish team-mate spent the entire third day working through the vast range of tyres Michelin had brought to the high-altitude Kyalami track and selecting suitable rubber for the race here at the start of April. Work also revolved around testing a variety of different brake pads on the 998R factory bikes in collaboration with Brembo. On the engine front, the new Testastretta proved to be ultra-reliable, with both power-units not giving any trouble throughout the three-day test.<BR><BR>In warm conditions (air 25° C/ track 41° C) excellent results were achieved with Michelin qualifying and race tyres, the latter proving to have extraordinary performance even after a normal race distance of 25 laps. Both riders lapped constantly in the low 1:42 bracket during their race simulations.<BR><BR>Troy did two 'long-runs' in race configuration during his 57 laps, and said he was satisfied with the outcome of his first test of the year. <BR><BR>"This three-day test here at Kyalami has gone really well", said the 32-year-old Australian. "My 2002-spec bike feels perfect, the engine is powerful, we sorted out the suspension and selected a couple of good tyres for the race. I can't wait to get to Australia now for next week's test to measure up to everyone else".<BR><BR>Ruben Xaus was also pleased with his overall performance after completing 70 laps today. The 23-year-old also did two 'long-runs' on his 998R and was happy to leave South Africa with considerable mileage under his belt.<BR><BR>"I'm getting used to lapping now after losing some time on the first day," said Xaus. "The 2002-spec bike is really nice, the Ducati guys have done a lot of work on it and we're already a lot quicker than before. The team is working well and I can't wait until the new season starts".<BR><BR>The next test session for Ducati Corse will see Bayliss and Xaus, together with Ducati L&M rider Ben Bostrom in action at Phillip Island in Australia from Jan 30 to Feb 1.