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BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) POWERS THE NEW DUCATI 1098 F08 TO QUICKEST TIME IN QATAR TESTING SESSION
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) made all the difference as he powered the new Ducati 1098 F08 to the fastest time on the final day of the Qatar winter test session. The Australian, lying third behind the two Yamahas on Wednesday and Thursday, upped the pace on the final day and slipped in one quick lap of 1m58.1s on race tyres to end the test in fine style. New team-mate Michel Fabrizio was exactly a second behind in an encouraging fifth place on his first outing with the factory team.
Troy Bayliss, 1m58.1s (66 laps)
"We're making good progress, the last couple of days we've been trying so many different things and seeing where we can go with this bike. Sometimes it's frustrating because I want to go fast, like everyone else, but when the other guys were going fast we were still on old tyres and working on the settings. After lunch today we found a bit of a way and were happy, so we decided to throw a few tyres at it and the times were coming good. That's the fastest I've ever been round here by about half-a-tenth and I did that time on a 999 with a qualifying tyre. I did about ten laps on the same tyre, mostly in the mid-58s, but I had to ride really hard to get those lap times and I'm still not so confident with the back of the bike. But now I can relax knowing we're going in the right direction and enjoy my Christmas until our next test at Phillip Island at the start of January."
Michel Fabrizio, 1m59.1s (53 laps)
"This test was my first time with the factory team and I have to say I'm really happy with the guys and the way they work. As for the test, I would say it went well. Today I did a 59.1s lap and I was looking to go better with the best development tyre left for the end, but we had a small problem and I was disappointed I couldn't improve my time. I'll leave it to the others to judge my performance but I personally wanted to do more! The 1098 is a fantastic bike, but we've got a long way to go and I still have to get to know it better".
Davide Tardozzi, Ducati Corse Superbike Project Leader
"Over the past three days the new 1098 has had its first real outing on the track against the others and we're still trying to familiarize with it. The bike is competitive, but it's not as if we went that much quicker than the others. We're still in the early stages and I think that today it was Troy who made all the difference, as so often happens".
Times (provided by Pirelli):
1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1m58.1s;
2. Haga (Yamaha) 1m58.4s;
3. Corser (Yamaha) 1m58.6s;
4. Checa (Honda) 1m59.0s;
5. Nieto (Suzuki)1m59.0s;
6. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m59.1s;
7. Sofuoglu (Honda) 2m00.3s;
8. Kagayama (Suzuki) 2m00.9s;
9. Kiyonari (Honda) 2m01.8s