Ducati Marlboro Team men Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi made a promising start at gloriously sunny Jerez today, placing a close fourth and 11th quickest after the first two practice sessions.


World Championship leader Stoner was just three tenths down on the fastest man of the day, proving that his Qatar-winning Desmosedici GP7 adapts well from circuit to circuit. Capirossi was a slender two tenths further down amongst the tightly packed leading bunch of MotoGP riders, the top 15 separated by just 0.984 seconds. This afternoon the Italian bettered his morning pace by more than one second and is confident he can move further forward tomorrow.


Casey Stoner, 4th fastest, 1m 41.171s

“Things are okay but I suppose we shouldn’t really expect any less than what we’ve done today. Everybody is saying how fast the Ducati is and how that’s the only reason we were up front at the last race but here we’re still sticking it in there against the hometown boys, even though there’s no big straight, so the Ducati is proving it’s a good package. There’s a few things we need to improve – we need to find a little bit more rear grip and we need to improve the turning a little bit through the entry and the middle of corners, so for tomorrow we’ll just tweak the suspension and geometry. Otherwise I think we’re already pretty happy with our race set-up. We made the best tyre selection we could for this race and we’re just trying to do the best job we can with it, same as Qatar.”


Loris Capirossi, 11th fastest, 1m 41.409s

“We started this morning with a very similar setting to what we ran at Qatar and we lost most of the first session because it wasn’t the best choice for this track – we were trying to find more traction but in the end that meant I didn’t have enough feeling from the front. So we completely changed the set-up for this afternoon, going back to more standard settings, and things started to go better. I can now lap easily enough around 41.5 or 41.6 but we need to make another step forward to be really okay because our target is to lap in the low 41s. Tomorrow morning I’ll do a mini race run to check tyre endurance but I can honestly say I’m happy with the direction we took this afternoon and confident that we can improve more for the race.”



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