The Ducati Xerox World Superbike (SBK) Team and riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio travel home tomorrow having participated in a two-day test session at the Valencia circuit, back to back after last weekend's Portimao testing.
Yesterday, a combination of very low temperatures and pouring rain unfortunately prevented the Ducati Xerox riders from exiting on track; conditions were just not favourable enough to be of use to the team. Luckily the weather improved this morning and although the track was damp and the cold persisted, Nori and Michel were nevertheless able to get in half a day's worth of riding, on track from midday to nearly 5pm.
Today the factory riders and their technicians worked to refine the set-up of their Ducati 1198 machines and re-tested several rear tyre solutions that were also tested during Portimao's recent tests. Even though the track conditions were not optimal for this type of tyre test (air temp. 11°C, track temp. 12°C), the times registered by the two riders were extremely encouraging. Nori recorded a fastest lap of 1m34.0s while Michel closed the testing with a fastest time of 1m34.3s.
The Ducati SBK team is now at home until mid-February when it departs for Phillip Island (Australia) for the final pre-championship tests, followed immediately by the opening round of the 2010 World Superbike season.
Noriyuki Haga Speaks...
"Unfortunately yesterday was a total loss due to the wet, cold conditions but today we were able to ride all afternoon. We continued with the work started at Portimao, testing suspension settings and various tire compounds. I also tried a new clutch which seemed to perform well, and my lap times were fairly fast seeing as it was extremely cold. I'd say we're very happy, although we've seen that the privateer Ducatis of Checa and Byrne were also very fast so I guess the first race of the season will be very interesting; I can't wait to race!"
Michel Fabrizio Speaks...
"We haven't been very lucky with the weather, with rain both here and in Portimao. But it's all gone really well today, bearing in mind that it was for us the first, and last, day. We found a good pace and are pretty satisfied with the lap times. It was a bit difficult to evaluate the tyres well in these conditions but, all in all, it went a lot better for us than it did at Portimao and I feel like we're back on track."
2010 Ducati World Superbike Valencia Test Times (unofficial)
Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1m34.0s; Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m34.3s