Bologna (Italy), Tuesday 19th December 2006: The 2006 season might have been a successful one for the Ducati Xerox Team but the squad is already hard at work for next year in this week’s Pirelli Development Teams test session at the Losail circuit in Qatar.

In the session, which is being attended by one selected development team from each of the five manufacturers involved in World Superbike, the Ducati Xerox Team will evaluate the latest generation of Pirelli tyres and also work on the best possible set-up for the Ducati 999 machine, which next year will embark on its fifth season in World Superbike.

Day 1 of the three-day test saw this year’s champion Troy Bayliss set a good pace on race tyres on a track made slippery by recent rain. His time of 2m00.7s was four-tenths of a second quicker than fellow Australian Troy Corser (Yamaha).

“The day was OK but we didn’t start early because the track was in a bad condition after the rain and it was also very windy. We left it late to come here for the test this year because it’s actually quite cold in the morning and the conditions are not perfect” declared Troy. “My lap time was OK, like a good race time and we worked a lot on settings and tyres. In particular we played with the gearing because last year we struggled a lot in acceleration from the last corner so we’re trying to improve that”.

Ducati Xerox team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi continued his encouraging winter testing form with the third quickest time in 2m01.3s. “I am pleased with my performance today. This morning the track was dirty, I wasn’t totally confident and didn’t press too hard but I began to improve in the afternoon. When I go past the point where I had my bad crash last year, I clearly have a few extra things on my mind – joked Lorenzo – but I’m satisfied anyway and I hope to improve even more tomorrow when the track conditions should be perfect”.

TIMES (provided by Pirelli): 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 2m00.7s; 2. Corser (Yamaha) 2m01.1s; 3. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) 2m01.3s; 4. Haga (Yamaha) & Toseland (Honda) 2m01. 4s; 6. Nieto (Kawasaki) 2m01.6s; 7. Laconi (Kawasaki) 2m02.2s; 8. Biaggi (Suzuki) 2m02.8s; 9. Kagayama (Suzuki) 2m03.0s; 10. Rolfo (Honda) 2m03.1s.



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