Bostrom and Bayliss on Record Pace in Valencia

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) both cameclose to the official track record at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valenciaas the factory Ducati Corse squad completed its final test of the year insouthern Spain.

In sunny conditions (air 11-16° / track 13-23°) and on a perfect track, WSBKchampion Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) fired a warning shot to his rivals byposting a time of 1:34.70 on qualifying tyres. The 32-year-old Australian,who also set a time of 1:35.36 on race tyres during his 55 laps today,expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the tests and said he was lookingforward to defending his title next year...

"I'm very pleased because we made a few small modifications to the settingssince the last time we tested here in November and you can see the results,"declared Bayliss. "A time of 1:34s shows the progress we have made, theproblem now is to find that little bit more, because for sure we won't go asfast as this in the race. The last time we were here I didn't try aqualifying tyre, but now we got very close to the circuit record. On theresults of these tests, I'll have to keep an eye on Haga and Ben next yearbecause both went really quick here. The dice I had with Haga for a few lapsyesterday reminded me of Assen and it should be great racing against himagain next year!"

.Ducati L&M's Ben Bostrom was also on superb form throughout the two-day testat one of his favourite tracks despite not feeling particularly well. The27-year-old Californian, who was slightly quicker than Bayliss, posted abest time of 1:34.56 on qualifying tyres, just a fraction of a second awayfrom the outright circuit record, 1:34.496, set by Yamaha's Max Biaggi inValencia GP qualifying two months back. Bostrom, who also recorded a bestlap of 1:35.31 on race tyres during his 56 laps, was convinced he could havesmashed the circuit record.

"We just needed an extra half-hour and I would have smashed the lap recordbecause the bike just keeps getting better and better," said Bostrom. "Ifound a great Q-tyre but there was traffic on the final lap and the sun wasin my eyes, otherwise I would have done a 1:34 flat with it. I did myfastest lap on qualifying tyres this morning, but the bike feels great onrace tyres as well. We've got a good set-up, and I already feel reallyexcited about next year."

Ducati Infostrada rider Ruben Xaus did not take part in the two-day Valenciatest as he was involved in promotional activities for the Italianmanufacturer. The 23-year-old tested here with Bayliss in November.

SBK RECORDS (all held by Corser, Aprilia):qualifying 1:35.504;superpole 1:36.185;lap record 1:36.128.UNOFFICIAL TIMES:1. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M) 1:34.56;2. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1:34.70;3. Martin (Ducati DFX) 1:35.90;4. Antonello (Ducati DFX) 1:36.90.
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