Feb 24, 2003
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From a press release issued by Ducati Corse:<BR><BR>DUCATI CORSE PRESS INFORMATION <BR><BR>HODGSON (TEAM DUCATI FILA) SMASHES LAP RECORD AT VALENCIA <BR><BR>Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus (Team Ducati Fila) wrapped up proceedings on the final day of official SBK Winter testing with the quickest times at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit in Spain. Hodgson in particular was in superb form, smashing the lap record which belonged to Bostrom (Ducati L&M), and leaving the mark at 1:34.01. Team-mate Xaus was eight-tenths of a second slower around the 4.005 km circuit, while the new Ducati 999 is already proving to be competitive in race trim. <BR><BR>"That was really good today" declared Neil. "I managed to find an excellent set-up on the bike and Michelin is providing me with some great tyres. I feel at one with the 999, it's the way I like it. I really needed this test to get back in action after two months away from the track. I thought it would take longer to get to this point but it didn't and now I'm feeling really confident for the start of the season." <BR><BR>"I waited until the end of the day to try and attack Neil's time, but there was a lot of humidity on the track and I slid off at turn 4" commented Ruben. "I'm pleased with the way the bike is working, the rear tyre is excellent, but I didn't have enough time to choose the front for the race. I'm pretty sure conditions will be exactly the same when we come here for the first round next weekend." <BR><BR><BR>OFFICIAL TIMES: 1. Hodgson (Ducati Fila) 1:34.01; 2. Xaus (Ducati Fila) 1:34.80; 3. Laconi (Ducati NCR) 1:35.59; 4. Walker (HM Plant Ducati) 1:35.46; 5. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) 1:35.66; 6. Martin (Ducati DFX) 1:35.87; 7. Chili (Ducati) 1:35.91; 8. Corser (Foggy Petronas) 1:36.14; 9. Borja (Ducati DFX) 1:36.23; 10. Haydon (Foggy Petronas) 1:36.64. <BR> <BR> <BR>More, from a press release issued by Honda:<BR><BR>HONDA RACING INFORMATION <BR><BR>World Supersport Championship <BR>Valencia Pre-season Test <BR>21 to 23 February 2003 <BR><BR>Honda Men Top Valencia Test Times <BR><BR>The only official 2003 pre-season World Supersport test sessions culminated at the Valencia Circuit on 23 February, with Ten Kate CBR600RR Honda rider Chris Vermeulen setting the fastest time on the final day. <BR><BR>Vermeulen, who is chasing his first World Supersport win, said "I think that fast lap must have been mostly down to the tyres. We have tested a lot of race tyres this weekend and the bike is working very well considering it is so new. The main thing is the race next weekend, not this test." <BR><BR>His best lap of 1:37.331 was merely the quickest of many top times set by the 20-year-old rider during a weather-affected test, and came after the track had dried on the final afternoon. <BR><BR>Rain appeared at lunchtime on the second day, ruining the testing plans of many teams, and making the final dry session on Sunday afternoon exceptionally fraught, as riders went all out to improve their standings on the final time sheet. <BR><BR>In third position overall Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) set his personal best lap of 1:38.253 on Friday, with the next fastest Honda rider proving to be Robert Ulm (Klaffi Honda CBR600RR) in overall fifth. <BR><BR>Muggeridge spend considerable amounts of time trying out different chassis set-ups on his in-line four machine. "It's mostly chassis with me this weekend. This bike is much more responsive than the previous model so one little adjustment has a great deal of effect. The feedback is very good and you can get a nice feel for the tyres." <BR><BR>For Ulm the weekend proved to be tough but rewarding one, with his sixth fastest lap time of 1:38.495 underlining his consistent performance on race rubber. "I am quite happy with that even if I did put in a qualifying tyre at the end. I am not alone in doing so! We worked a lot on the set-up of the bike and it paid off at the end." <BR><BR>Christophe Cogan from the BKM Honda team took his CBR600RR to seventh out of 26 riders, his team-mate Broc Parkes running out ninth. <BR><BR>Gianluigi Scalvini (BKM Honda CBR600RR) and Iain Macpherson (van Zon Honda CBR600RR) secured 12th and 13th places respectively, with Werner Daemen (van Zon Honda CBR600RR) running out 18th overall. <BR><BR>In the Superbike division Neil Hodgson (Ducati) outpaced his team-mate Ruben Xaus (Ducati) to take the fastest lap of the weekend, 1:34.016. <BR><BR>The first race of the year takes place at Valencia on 2 March, for both Supersport and Superbike classes. <BR><BR>Supersport Test Order <BR>1: Chris Vermeulen (Honda) 1:37.331 <BR>2. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Suzuki) 1:38.157 <BR>3. Karl Muggeridge (Honda) 1:38.254 <BR>4. Jurgen van den Goorbergh (Yamaha) 1:38.419 <BR>5. Alessio Corradi (Yamaha) 1:38.433 <BR>6. Robert Ulm (Honda) 1:38.495 <BR>7. Christophe Cogan (Honda) 1:38.564 <BR>8. Gianluca Nannelli (Yamaha) 1:38.603 <BR>9. Broc Parkes (Honda) 1:38.819 <BR>10. Christian Kellner (Yamaha) 1:38.917 <BR><BR> <BR> More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Belgarda:<BR><BR>Team Yamaha Belgarda Newsletter <BR><BR>Date: Sunday 23rd February 2003 <BR>Circuit: Ricardo Tormo, Comunitat Valenciana, 4.005 kms- Day 3 <BR><BR>TOP FOUR FOR JURGEN! <BR>Team Yamaha Belgarda rider Jurgen Van Den Goorbergh successfully completed the three-day official World Supersport Championship test with the fourth fastest overall time. Throughout the three days, Jurgen and the team had been working hard to overcome minor problems and finally their persistence was rewarded in the final session. His team mate Simone Sanna also had minor problems during the test and chose to work on solving the problems rather then try and set a quick time. Chris Vermeulen continued his domination of the three days, ending up with a lap of 1:37.331. <BR><BR><BR>JURGEN VD GOORBERGH (70 laps overall, best lap 1:38.419) <BR>Today was a difficult day, but we finally got it together and I was able to post a good lap time. We've worked hard over the three days and although we encountered some little problems, we plugged away and got a lot of work done. I think we found a good base set-up and I'm satisfied with what we managed to do. I was a bit disappointed that I only did 70 laps in total, but I'm happy with the results. We've still got work to do on the suspension, but it's improving all the time. As for the tyres, I'm surprised at how good the standard Pirelli tyres are now. I like this track and it's one where you can make a little mistake in one corner without it upsetting your whole lap. I think we can make a good result next week. <BR><BR><BR>SIMONE SANNA (97 laps overall, best lap 1:39.212) <BR>I wanted to do a 1:38, but in the end I decided not to take any risks. I only used standard tyres during these three days and not really soft ones because I wasn't really chasing a lap time. I am sort of happy with how it's all gone and I think we've got 70 percent or so of a good base set-up. I'm very happy with the way the Pirelli tyres have performed and although we had some little problems in the three days, generally we've made progress OK. <BR> <BR> <BR>