Ducati Tests at Valencia

Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
A two-day test session for the brand-new 2001 Ducati 996 Factory concluded at the Valencia, Spain circuit today as the team continues to prepare for the next WSBK season. Troy Bayliss and Ben Bostrom both got under the 1'36" mark to improve on this year's Valencia pole time.

The third factory rider, Ruben Xaus, still was feeling the effects of his crash two weeks ago and yesterday interruptedtesting to speed up his recovery...

Troy BayllisThe intense testing program also included a chance for the two factory Ducati riders to go for fast times and they responded with a series of sub-1'36" laps, which improved on the pole position time set this year at the Valencia track.

Ben Bostrom made his debut today on the 2001 bike fitted with the 'narrow-head' engine. The talented young American, who did not test the bike at Mugello and Almeria, said he was enthusiastic about the new machine. Bostrom lapped on Dunlop tires, which perfectly suit his 'acrobatic" riding style. Troy Bayliss did an intense day's work on Michelin tires, trying out different compounds and profiles, and he alsoset excellent times today.

Ruben Xaus was suffering slight bruising from his off-road bike crash a couple of weeks ago, a crash that also affected his Almeria test two weeks ago, and his Valencia schedule was reduced. Unfortunately yesterday, Xaus lost control of the bike and crashed during his early laps. The Spanish rider was not injured but his test session was brought to a halt as a precaution.

WEATHER: sunny both days, temperature 17-21° ground and 10-17° air.

TIMES: Bayliss: 1'35.76 - Bostrom: 1'35.90.

Ben Bostrom"We did an excellent job of getting to know the 2001 bike in these two days," said Troy Bayliss. "Especially on a track where we had a lot of reference data from this year's race and I was able to appreciate the qualities of the new bike. We also worked a lot with new Michelin tires and I'm really pleased with the results."

"This is the fastest bike I've ever ridden," said a satisfied BenBostrom. "I immediately got a good feeling with the bike and with the Dunlops that give me the confidence to allow me to ride the way I like. Here at Valencia I did a lot of fast laps and it was great to begin my experience with the new bike here. We've got some excellent reference data on this track and I was able to appreciate the quality and the power of the new engine."

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