Ducati SBK Valencia Test Update

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Ducati Corse has concluded its 2000 WSBK season with a final day oftesting at the Valencia circuit in Spain.

Ben Bostrom and Troy Bayliss today lapped within a whisker of the besttime ever achieved at the Valencia track, recorded earlier this year byKenny Roberts Jr. on a 500cc GP bike (1m35.133s)...

Today's times set by the Ducati Corse riders are a confirmation of theextraordinary development work carried out on the Borgo Panigale bikeand the efficiency of the new 'testastretta' engine.

All eyes are now focussed on the 2001 Superbike season, when the Italianmanufacturer will be lining up with three factory bikes, demonstratingthe strategic importance this championship has for Ducati. Thechampionship's successful formula allows Ducati to 'transfer' to the enduser (consumers who buy road bikes) all the know-how it has accumulatedduring racing competition.

Today's weather conditions, warm and sunny, allowed Ducati's scheduledworkload for the final test of the year to be completed. Early in theafternoon Bayliss and Bostrom improved their lap times, getting underthe record time set on Sunday by Neil Hodgson (Ducati 996 GSE). The daythen came to an end with a final rush by Bayliss, who ended up with atime of 1m35.28s, while Bostrom set a time of 1m35.33s on race tires.

"I'm really pleased with this final test session of the year", commentedTroy Bayliss after two days of hard work. "All the new tires we testedproved to be very interesting. We even had time to go for a quick laptime and I easily set my fastest time of the day. We are now going tothe winter tests in South Africa at the start of the year, where we willbe up against all the other teams in the 2001 WSBK championship".

"I would love to have continued until the sun went down", said BenBostrom. "Today it was fantastic at the Valencia circuit. The slightlycloudy sky allowed us to test until quite late in the afternoon. I triedout some excellent tires and worked on the final set-up of my 996Factory. The two days have been very intense but riding a bike is neverhard work; it's just a great pleasure".

Thanks to kman for the above release.

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