May 2, 2001
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This just in from Ducati:<BR><BR>"The Ducati Infostrada World Superbike Championship factory team completed a two-day Michelin tyre test at Sugo Sportsland on Monday 30th April / Tuesday 1st May, just 24 hours after Sunday's round four of the championship at the<BR>Japanese circuit.<BR><BR>"The two-day test, with Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus present for Ducati Infostrada, was hit by poor weather with occasional rain showers and strong winds, while air and ground temperatures dropped to 5° and 10°C (41-50 degrees F) respectively on Tuesday.<BR><BR>"Ducati Infostrada's French supplier provided a series of new tires for the test and both riders were able to complete a full session despite the difficult conditions.<BR><BR>"Troy Bayliss, who finished 13th and 15th in Sunday's two races, recorded an unofficial best time of 1:30.5 on race tires and 1:29.9 on softer qualifying rubber. The times were a slight improvement on those recorded by the Australian during the Sugo race weekend and are to be considered positive given the conditions.<BR><BR>"Ruben Xaus recorded his best time of 1:32.5 on Monday, when he also crashed harmlessly for the third time in four days at the circuit."<BR><BR><BR>The tests are significant because Dunlop has had an advantage at Sugo due to extensive testing at the circuit with teams in the domestic Japanese series. Dunlop has a large factory with a race tire development and manufacturing facility in Japan. Michelin's situation in the past has been similar at Sugo and at Laguna Seca, where Dunlop riders have an advantage due to testing and development at those specific tracks.<BR>