Ducati Tests at Kyalami - Honda Still Faster

Brent Plummer
by Brent Plummer
Kyalami (South Africa) - Private Testing26/27 January 2001 .

The factory Ducati Superbike team made its first appearance of the yeartoday at Kyalami, South Africa. The private session revolved aroundMichelin tyre testing for the Ducati 996R Factory bikes, which wereridden by Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus. Ben Bostrom will be on track nextMonday.

A two-day private session in collaboration with Michelin got underwaytoday, in view of next week's official SBK International winter tests.Bayliss and Xaus completed an intense testing programme with the tyresthat the French manufacturer had brought to South Africa.

Weather conditions, similar to the European summer, allowed data to begathered that will be useful for the start of the championship and theWSBK round to be held here in April. Tarmac temperature has been around53° in the past few days while maximum ground temperature today was 40°.

TEMPERATURE: AM air 24°/ground 35° - PM 27°/40°WEATHER: clear skies.

"My first impressions of this track were very positive", declared TroyBayliss, who was seeing Kyalami for the first time. "Today was mainlydevoted to obtaining the right set-up on the bike and in my 20 laps Iwas able to try out several different types of Michelin tyres. TomorrowI will be working hard so that we can arrive in the best possiblecondition for next week's official tests, which begin on Monday. Thetrack has a lot of bumps and for this reason the first phase of the testtoday was dedicated to obtaining the right set-up on the bike".

Ruben Xaus got back onto a factory Ducati after missing two tests inSpain at the end of the 2000 season. The Spanish rider has completelyrecovered from his off-road bike crash and he began today's tests in avery determined mood.

"I tried not to push too hard because I haven't ridden a factory bikefor some time and I want to improve gradually", declared Xaus. "Myfeeling with the track is good, it's the second time I've been hereafter the Supersport race in 1999 when I started from pole. My arm feelsOK and is not giving me any problems, and now I just have to regain myconfidence. Today's test session was chiefly devoted to setting up theDucati 996R Factory and the tests will continue tomorrow".

The other bikes on track today included the factory Hondas, which havebeen testing here since Wednesday.


  • Troy Bayliss (Ducati Corse) 1'45"83
  • Ruben Xaus (Ducati Corse) 1'44"95.
  • Edwards (Honda) 1'43.27
  • Okada (Honda) 1'43"90
  • Vermeulen (Honda Supersport) 1'47"70
  • Guareschi (Ducati Dienza Supersport) 1'47"7
  • Thomas (Ducati Dienza Supersport) 1'47.9.
Get Motorcycle.com in your Inbox
Brent Plummer
Brent Plummer

More by Brent Plummer

Join the conversation