Teams Testing At Catalunya Prior To IRTA MotoGP Tests

Teams Testing At Catalunya Prior To IRTA MotoGP Tests

© 2003, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.


From a press release issued by Ducati Corse:


Barcelona (Spain), 13 March 2003 – The Ducati Marlboro Team put in an extra day’s testing at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya today, in view of the two-day official IRTA tests here on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 March. The session brought an end to Ducati Corse’s development phase for the Desmosedici, four examples of which were available at the circuit for the first time, two for each rider. The tests will mark the final roll-out for the Desmosedici before the team heads to Japan for the pre-race test session and the opening round of the MotoGP championship, scheduled for April 6 at Suzuka.

Troy Bayliss, who had never seen the Spanish track before, put in as much mileage as possible, and the Australian ended the day with 95 laps to his name. His best time was 1:47.2 as he switched between his two bikes and continued with general set-up work.

“I did a lot of laps today” said Bayliss at the end of the session, “because I have to learn this circuit really quickly. It’s a great track, but is very demanding and tough to learn. It was important to test here today and now I can approach the IRTA tests in the best possible way on Saturday.”

Satisfaction was also expressed by Capirossi, who completed a total of 60 laps, constantly lapping on the pace and recording his quickest time of 1:44.7 at the end of the day. Loris also concentrated on set-up work on the two Desmosedici machines available.

“Not bad for a first day’s work” declared Loris. “Finally the weather conditions allowed us to work well and we are at a good point. The time I set gives me high hopes for the IRTA tests against all the other teams here on Saturday and Sunday.”

Both Capirossi and Bayliss used 2002 Michelin tyres, but will test with 2003 rubber at the weekend.

More, from a press release issued by Fortuna Yamaha:


The Fortuna Yamaha Team completed two days of testing in glorious sunshine at Barcelona’s Montmelo circuit today. The squad was present along with Yamaha partners the Gauloises Yamaha Team and Team D’Antin Yamaha as well as the Ducati and Suzuki MotoGP teams. The test was scheduled to replace valuable time lost to poor weather during February. It comes ahead of this weekend’s two-day official IRTA test that should see all the MotoGP contenders go head to head for the first time in 2003.

Spaniard Carlos Checa completed a total of 54 laps today on his Yamaha YZR-M1 before a fall put an end to his track-time. He was disappointed with his time of 1:44.9 despite the fact that it is almost seven-tenths of a second faster than the lap record and a third of a second quicker than his 2002 qualifying time. Checa, who finished third in last year’s Barcelona race, explained: “Yesterday we started with the same settings we had when we tested here before, but I was struggling to go as fast. We changed a few things today and the bike was feeling better but I crashed at the last corner on a hot lap. Maybe I was just pushing too hard or perhaps the tyres weren’t quite up to temperature. It’s good in a way that we can try again on Saturday with the bike rebuilt.”

Checa’s new team-mate in the Fortuna Yamaha squad, Italian 250cc World Champion Marco Melandri, was back to fitness for the test following a shoulder injury sustained in Estoril last month. He was once again working on the fuel-injection settings on his Yamaha YZR-M1 having only recently switched from the 2002-spec carburettor version of the four-stroke machine. He completed 67 laps with a best time of 1:45.7.

“The track feels quite bumpy and the grip level is not so good which adds an extra complication to set-up,” said the 20-year-old Melandri. “We have had to make quite a few changes since last time I rode here because the weather is a lot warmer. It’s good to be back on the bike and I am feeling quite comfortable. It’s good that we have another two days here and it will be interesting to see how I am doing compared to all my new rivals.”

More information will be available from both day’s of testing at this weekend’s Barcelona IRTA Test, the first test at which all 2003 MotoGP competing manufacturers will be present.

Alex Barros, Gauloises Yamaha Team 1:44.4 (87 laps)

Carlos Checa, Fortuna Yamaha Team 1:44.9 (54 laps)

Shinya Nakano, Team D’Antin Yamaha 1:45.1 (52 laps)

Olivier Jacque, Gauloises Yamaha Team 1:45.4 (60 laps)

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Yamaha Team 1:45.7 (67 laps)

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