Scott Ru$ Tests Ducati at Daytona

"Mr. Daytona" Scott Russell is back. After struggling with his factory Harley-Davidson the last two years, Russell, a five-time Daytona 200 champion, shook down his new ride, the factory-supported HMC Racing Ducati, at Daytona International Speedway on Monday in the beginning of a three-day test session to prepare for the March 11 Daytona 200 By Arai.

Including Russell, there were more than 20 riders at the World Center of Racing, searching for the right combination in order to win during Bike Week on March 2-11.

"It's a new lease on life almost," Russell said of his new ridingduties. "Ducati has proven itself for 10 years. Coming off where I came from the last two years, this is like starting over for me."

Russell tested two bikes that were used by the Vance & Hines stablefrom last year. His goal for the test session is to just get acclimated to the bikes.

"They're pretty much shaken down," Russell said. "It's just a matter of getting everything in position and just get some laps under our belt and get comfortable with the bike."

"It's just nice to come back here and people know that Scott's back," said Russell, whose last Daytona 200 win was in 1998 aboard a Yamaha. "The last two years, you could mark me off because there was no chanceof winning. I want to win this race for the sixth time."

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Danielle Grossman
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