Ducati Tests at Almeria, Spain

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Testing with the Ducati 996 Factory 2001 bikes concluded for two of thethree official Ducati riders today at the new Almeria circuit. TroyBayliss and Ruben Xaus, on Michelins, set fast lap times, while thethird rider Ben Bostrom will start testing his Factory 2001 bike in thenext session halfway through November at the Valencia circuit...

Bayliss and Xaus immediately attacked the 4.03 kms Spanish track andafter three days they had completed the entire testing programmeorganised with the Michelin Research and Development Center. Brand-newtires were tested, with different profiles and sizes, which the Frenchmanufacturer has developed for the 2001 World Superbike Championship.

Strong winds and sand on the track (the Almeria circuit is close to theSpanish desert area) made the first two days of testing very difficult,while conditions today were excellent. The temperatures were between10-15° (air) and 10-22° (ground). The Ducati riders did endurance runsand race simulations and completed a total of 340 kms (Xaus) and 505 kms(Bayliss) in the three days. The Ducati Factory bikes were tested inboth race and qualifying set-up and recorded interesting times.

TIMES: Troy Bayliss 1'40.53 (race tires), 1'38.42 (qualifying tires) -Ruben Xaus 1'40.22 (race tires), 1'39.57 (qualifying tires).

The Almeria tests were also the first opportunity to try out the DucatiFactory 2001 with the new 'narrow head' engine at a circuit away fromMugello. The different characteristics of the Spanish track, withaverage speeds of less than 150 kph, represented a further source ofinformation for Ducati engineers.

The riders were satisfied with the power delivery of the new engine andcarried out the entire program without feeling the need to compareperformance with the 2000 bikes that were available in the pits.

Thanks to Ducati Corse for the above press release.

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