Jul 18, 2001
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From a Ducati press release following conclusion of testing at Imola today:<BR><BR>Ducati Corse riders Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) and Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) concluded the two-day WSBK test session at Imola's Enzo & Dino<BR>Ferrari Circuit in fifth and sixth position respectively as the top Superbike teams prepared for the final round of the championship here at the end of September.<BR><BR>Double Laguna winner Bostrom (Ducati L&M) was upbeat about his performance today, during which he ran a total of 63 laps with a best time of 1:50.34, declaring that he was pleased with the general race set-up of his Ducati 996R Factory. "I'm really happy with the two days testing we did here at Imola", declared Bostrom. "I almost found the race tire, we've got a couple to choose from, the bike is pretty much set up the way I want it and the gearing is good. We've made a good start come race weekend in September."<BR><BR>Championship leader Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) completed 73 laps today, setting a best time of 1:50.52, but admitted that more work needed to be<BR>done before he could be satisfied with his Imola set-up. "I did a lot of laps and learnt the track but I've been wrestling with the bike a little for the past two days and we're still missing something", declared the Australian. "The problem now is finding something on the bike to make up another second on the top guys for the race."<BR><BR>Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) did not take part in the second day of testing after crashing yesterday morning. The 23-year-old Spanish rider, who suffered a minor injury to his left shoulder, preferred not to risk aggravating the injury in view of the next round in 10 days time.<BR><BR>The 13 and final round is scheduled for September 30th at Imola, the first time Superbike has competed at the Santerno track in the championship's 14-year history while the next round is at Brands Hatch (England) on July 29th, where Bayliss will attempt to defend a 53-point lead over his closest rival Colin Edwards (Honda).<BR><BR><BR>UNOFFICIAL TIMES:<BR>1. Edwards (Honda) 1:49.42<BR>2. Laconi (Aprilia) 1:49.70<BR>3. Okada (Honda) 1:49.72<BR>4. Corser (Aprilia) 1:49.93<BR>5. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M) 1:50.34<BR>6. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1:50.52<BR>7. Antonello (Aprilia) 1:51.22<BR>8. Lavilla (Kawasaki) 1:51.20<BR>9. Yanagawa (Kawasaki) 1:51.30<BR>10. Parkes (Ducati) 1:52.49<BR><BR><BR>From Aprilia's press release on the same test day:<BR><BR>Last day of tests sessions at Imola. Regis Laconi second quickest time. Another day of intense tests on the Santerno circuit - with the leading World Championship teams perfecting the set-up of the bikes for the final race of the season. Corser and Laconi, the official Aprilia riders, and Antonello, who will be a wild-card in the September races, studied every possible solution to get the perfect set-up for their Aprilia bikes, doing lap after lap in the central hours of the day as rain menaced from above. Laconi, the French Aprilia rider, went round 98 times scoring the second quickest unofficial time in the tests. Corser made fourth, Antonello seventh. All eyes are now firmly on the forthcoming championship races on 29 July at Brands Hatch (UK).<BR><BR>The next date at Imola for the superbikes will be 30 September when the last round of the Championship will be fought out. This was a true return to the origins, for what were to become the forerunners of the Superbikes made their first appearance right here on 23 April 1972, in the historic 200-mile race. The chequered flag then came down on three of the greats in motorcycling: first Paul Smart, then Bruno Spaggiari and Walter Villa.<BR><BR>"We put in some real work, like yesterday, trying out different set-ups," said Regis Laconi, second fastest in the sessions. "The results we got from different set-ups were fantastic, but I'm still not that close to making a final choice of tires. Some solutions which give you a really fast lap time still need to be tried out for a full race."<BR><BR>"The set-up of my bike on the Imola circuit has improved no end, and I'm very pleased with the work we've managed to do during these sessions," said Troy Corser. "The choice of tires is also good for a track where you've got to brake really violently in a couple of places and, as I was saying yesterday, one that takes all the concentration you can muster. We've got a basic set-up for the bike that's perfect for September, when we'll need to get the fine-tuning just right for the races. I got a great feeling for the track, even though this is the first time I've been out on it."<BR><BR>"I got into a good rhythm on the track towards evening and scored my best time right in the last minutes of the afternoon," said Alessandro Antonello. "I did get through my work plan for the RVS Mille 'Laboratory Bike', even though of course I was also working to prepare for the last<BR>race in the World Championship, where I'll be entering as a wild-card".<BR>