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Feb 25, 2002

Ducati Weighs In On Valencia Tests

From a Ducati press release:<BR><BR>DUCATI CORSE PRESS INFORMATION<BR><BR>WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP<BR>Superbike Testing - Valencia (Spain)<BR>Monday February 25th 2002<BR><BR>BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) SETS BLISTERING PACE IN VALENCIA TEST<BR><BR>World champion Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) fired out a warning to his WSBK rivals with quickest time during the three-day pre-season test session at Valencia, Spain. His time of 1:34.261, set on qualifying tyres on the<BR>final day, was well over a second under the circuit record and even quicker than the extraordinary time of 1:34.56 recorded by Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) last December.<BR><BR>Troy, who also set a blistering pace on race tyres, was upbeat about the overall result of the Valencia tests. "Everything was good these three days and in every test we've done since the end of last year, we've made a major improvement", he declared. "I did three long-runs on race tyres and their performance was excellent, while on my qualifying tyre I did the fastest lap I've ever done around here. Now I'm really looking forward to the race in two weeks time and feeling really confident about the season ahead".<BR><BR>Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) finished the three-day test in second place, just a fraction behind his fellow Ducati Corse rider. "We got the bike dialled in really good during these three days, and although I did the fastest time around here on race tyres, 1:34.7, I know there's a lot more to come because I was held up on my really quick lap and lost a few tenths", declared Bostrom. "I'm really excited about the season ahead because I've been waiting for it to start since last May, when I injured my shoulder at Monza!"<BR><BR>Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) was always one of the top 5 throughout, but crashed again today, at the first right-hander. He was fourth quickest with a time of 1:34.908, a tenth slower than Aprilia's Noriyuki Haga and a shade quicker than Colin Edwards (Honda). "I'm pretty happy about the times I recorded around here, but we have to find out about why I'm falling because I don't really have any explanation for it", declared Xaus. "Maybe the track just doesn't suit my style of riding, because I wasn't pushing that hard and<BR>my times came easily or perhaps we'll just have to use a different tyre because I've got no real problems in the front. I was one of the fastest on<BR>race tyres today but really didn't have the chance to go for a quick qualifying time".<BR><BR>The 13-round World Superbike Championship gets underway on March 10th at Valencia.
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