Ducati Marlboro Team riders Sete Gibernau and Loris Capirossi began practice for the penultimate GP of the year at the revised Estoril circuit this morning, ending the day seventh and 12th quickest. In warm, windy conditions Gibernau was just 0.5 seconds off ?pole’ and believes he can go quicker tomorrow if he can find more edge grip to improve his corner speed. Capirossi, winner of the Japanese GP three weeks ago, struggled with set-up this afternoon, lapping fractionally slower than he had in the first session but the Italian is confident he can resolve his settings issues and get back on the pace in time for Sunday’s race.

Sete Gibernau, Ducati Marlboro Team, 7th fastest, 1m 38.815s
"Today wasn’t too bad but we are struggling a bit. My shoulder is hurting again which isn’t good, it didn’t hurt at the last three races but maybe it got sore during those races. Anyway the bike is improving but we are lacking edge grip here. We went through some tyres today, we’re chipping away at the problem and hopefully Bridgestone will help us out tomorrow with some different tyres. I am focusing on their new-profile rear slick here. As soon as I pick up the bike out of the turns I’ve got good traction but we are lacking grip through the corners, and that affects the whole bike, turning and everything. It costs us time everywhere, through the long, final turn and through all the tight turns, where you need edge grip to keep your corner speed."

Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro Team, 12th fastest, 1m 39.637s
"After this morning’s first session I thought we would be much faster this afternoon but the changes we made to the set-up evidently didn’t work the way we expected them to work. In fact I couldn’t even match my times from this morning. During the afternoon session we focused on improving the set-up, running with the same tyres without really looking for lap times. I would have been faster with new tyres but I just wanted to fix the bike. Anyway, our package wasn’t competitive today but Sete was pretty fast so I’m sure we’ll be able to fix everything for tomorrow. The modifications they made to the track are okay, with much improved run-off following the chicane and the new tarmac is better too."

Afternoon session temperatures. Ambient: 28 degrees. Track: 40 degrees
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