Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau worked hard to take a sixth and eighth place qualifying slots respectively at Le Mans, giving Capirossi a second row grid position, with Gibernau starting from row three. In the wet conditions in the final untimed session, held in the morning, each rider had shown fine form, a good omen if raceday proves to be wet.

In the dry afternoon qualifying session, Capirossi slotted into the lead after ten minutes had elapsed, and after many changes of placing from there on, went second quickest with 15 minutes left to run. As other riders put in their best laps he ended the hour-long session sixth overall, taking a valuable second row start. Gibernau could not get full confidence in his set-up, despite the hard work put in throughout the day, and both riders tried out race set-ups, as well as going for a fast qualifying time.

LORIS CAPIROSSI, sixth fastest, 1m 34.802s
“Today we focussed on the race set-up and compared two tyres. The new one was more competitive and we will most probably use that one tomorrow. We had to sacrifice time in qualifying so we had no time to use the new qualifiers Bridgestone brought here so we only did two fast laps, while other riders made a lot more. For sure starting from a good position on the grid is important but for us it is more important to bring home more points in the race, that’s why we gave precedence to the race set-up. We cannot win tomorrow, but our tyres are better than the ones we had in China. The weather forecast is completely unpredictable but for sure if it rains tomorrow the race will be a big gamble.”


SETE GIBERNAU, eighth fastest, 1m 34.870s
“We are working hard at it but I am not too happy with the result. I am not feeling comfortable with my lap times and the way I am riding, so I have to get my head down and try to work out with the guys why I cannot enter the corners the way I want, with both qualifying and race set-ups. That is the whole deal I think; I am not comfortable going into the corners so we will have to try to work around that. We will try to make the best use of warm-up tomorrow, after we have worked out what to change.”


Temperatures: Ambient: 18 degrees. Track: 23 degrees


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