Ducati Superbike team at Losail (Qatar), both Ducati Xerox Team riders made substantial progress on the second day of testing at the Losail circuit in Qatar as they notched up more mileage on their new Ducati 1098 F08 machines. Bayliss remained third quickest in the standings behind the two Yamahas, but he was flanked by new arrival Carlos Checa (Honda), who joined the test today. Troy's new team-mate Michel Fabrizio also improved, the young Italian knocking one-and-a-half seconds off yesterday's time to end up sixth quickest.
Troy Bayliss, 1m59.5s, we tested a few tyres today, some front and some back, but spent most of the day playing with the settings on the bike and working to get more feeling at the back" declared Troy. "It's still not feeling right and we're missing a little bit of corner speed, but everything is going OK and we've got some good ideas for tomorrow. With the 1098 it still feels like I'm riding a Ducati and I feel at home with the motor, but it certainly works differently and doesn't rev as much as the 999. It's early stages yet and we can't expect to be on top of everything immediately.
Michel Fabrizio, 2m00.1s, today went better than yesterday and I am pleased to have improved my time, because what I wanted was to find the right direction in the set-up" said Michel. "I knocked a second and a half off yesterday's time, but more importantly I was a second quicker than my best time set this year on the Honda. I began to lap on race tyres forty minutes from the end of the session, going out for a few laps at a time, but tomorrow I'll test the tyres better and hopefully I can drop my time by a few tenths more. The thing that has impressed me the most about these tests with the 1098 ....is the Ducati Xerox Team. These guys really know how to work well and they give you everything!
The Ducati 1098 F08 is also commercial available, in the form of the Ducati 1098R which was created after close collaboration between engineers from Ducati's production and racing departments, this new engine is fitted with the same components powering the 1098 F08 that will take on the Japanese opposition in the 2008 World Superbike Championship. The R version of the 1098 has been boosted to an engine displacement of 1198cc. A bore increase from 104mm to 106mm and a stroke value of 67.9mm, producing a remarkable 1.56 ratio, complete the 'over-square' layout of the engine.
If interested, in Thailand, be aware that the Ducati 1098R will set you back for more then 2 million Thai Baht.