Ducati underline threat on Jerez day one
Ducati Marlboro riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau carried their Jerez test pace straight into the season opening Spanish Grand Prix - setting the second and equal third fastest lap times during day one of the 2006 season.
The track surface was far from perfect today, with this morning's first free practice session held in cold and damp conditions and the afternoon hour in cool and windy conditions with dark clouds still threatening.
Nevertheless, Capirossi was quickest in the morning and also led much of the second session, before ending up just 0.012secs behind reigning world champion Valentino Rossi.
"This afternoon was the first real practice session, although the track was still damp in places, so I couldn't use my usual lines everywhere," revealed the #65. "The damp bothered me more than I expected. Furthermore, no rubber has been laid down, which means the track conditions are very different from the tests we did here two weeks ago.
"But overall I'm very, very happy with today. I'm only 12 hundredths behind the fastest guy which is nothing, and we were fast in the wet, so we are ready whatever the weather," he warned. "The bike set-up is almost identical to what I used at the tests, the tyres are the same too, though we'll test some new Bridgestones tomorrow. We know we can be faster than today, which is good. I'm okay, I'll keep working and hope for some nice weather."
New team-mate Sete Gibernau was also impressively fast this afternoon, a mere 0.185s off 'pole position' after tying with Dani Pedrosa, but isn't quite as happy with his factory Desmosedici as Capirossi.
"Today was okay, no one could do any real work this morning, so this afternoon was like our first practice session. Even then conditions weren't perfect, it seemed like there were still a few damp patches out there, so we're not going quite as fast as we were at the tests," began Sete.
"For me, we need to make the bike easier, more natural. I'm still fighting with it more than I'd like, but the team has got some ideas to work on that. I'm not really thinking too much about lap times at the moment. I know we can be fast but we need to be constantly fast, so we're working more towards a good race pace. Bridgestone have some new tyres here, so we've still got more stuff to try tomorrow," he added.