Just two days after the final round of the World Superbike Championship 2009 and the Ducati Xerox Team begins testing in preparation for the new season. Noriyuki and Michel, second and third at the end of this year’s campaign, and both already confirmed with the Ducati Xerox Team for 2010, were back on track this morning with most of the other Superbike team for the first of two days of testing.
At ease on the Portuguese track after several days riding, both Ducati men were immediately fast and got a lot of work done throughout the day. Between 9am and 5pm, and with the continuation of the race weekend’s warm, sunny conditions (with a track temperature hovering around 30°C) the factory riders were able to test various new parts, including a new exhaust and modified clutch. The Ohlins technicians also brought a new fork for the riders to use and Michel tested it this afternoon, with very positive results.
Italian rider Michel, as is often the case during winter testing, was the most consistently fast rider on track today, making numerous laps in under 1m43, with an (unofficial) best time of 1m42.3s while Nitro-Nori recorded a fastest lap time of 1m43.0s
“Today I’ve tried a harder rear suspension setting and I had a really good feeling with that, then we modified the front setting too but I’m not 100% happy with that yet so we’ll continue to work on it tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll also try the new front fork and see how we go. For now I’m fairly happy; times have improved from those recorded over the weekend and I’m confident we can make further improvement tomorrow.”
“We’re all very tired after the weekend but it’s been a positive day. There are several new things to try, and me and Nori are dividing the work up; there’s quite a lot to do. Today I tried the new fork with the new clutch and both seem a lot better, we’ve seen big improvement. For the tyres, we’ve continued with the only one that worked for us over the weekend. I’m very satisfied, tired but happy.”