Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)

LOSAIL (Qatar), Saturday 19 February: James Toseland and Rgis Laconi (Ducati
Xerox Team) warmed up for the 2005 World Superbike Championship by setting
fourth and ninth quickest times respectively on the first day of the final
pre-season test session in Qatar. The two-day test, organized by WSBK promoters
FGSport at the Losail circuit in the Arabian peninsula state, is the last
opportunity for this years contenders to prepare for next Saturday s opening
round at the brand-new track built in the desert on the outskirts of the capital

Almost five hours of testing in warm conditions (air 24C/track 44C) on a
slippery and sandy track surface left the two Ducati Xerox Team riders in a
positive mood for the Losail race as they faced up against all of their main
opponents for the first time this year. Toseland was one of three riders,
together with Corser (Suzuki) and Cardoso (Yamaha), who constantly lapped
quicker than the rest today. Despite losing almost one hour with a technical
problem on one 999F05 and a low-speed crash when he lost the front of his other
machine, the world champion was feeling good about todays performance.

Im a bit disappointed to be in fourth but Im sure I would have done Cardosos
lap time if I hadnt lost a lot of time in the second session, declared
Toseland. The balance of the bike feels good and the rear tyre is fine, but we
still need to work on the front because its chewing the tyre up after 10 laps.
Since last year the changes have made a massive improvement, especially the
front forks and the weight transfer so Im feeling a lot more confident now.
Tomorrow Im sure will be better than today once the track gets a bit more grip
and I believe well be down to 2 minutes flat, he concluded.

Laconi preferred to have a cautious approach while he learnt the track and tried
to perfect his set-up for the race. We havent done so many laps in the dry
this year and this track is very slippery and very difficult to learn
immediately so I just took it steadily, said Rgis. Im not entirely happy
with the feeling but we are working step by step to make the right settings. In
the morning we sorted out the rear tyre but then in the afternoon we had a bit
of difficulty with the durability of the front and we still have to get the
right feeling. The track is nice, but you dont have much line and if you go
off, you can lose it. I am not surprised to see a lot of riders go fast today
but the hardest thing is to go fast lap after lap and I hope to be in a position
to do that in the race next week.


 1. Cardoso (Yamaha)         2m02.618s
 2. Corser (Suzuki)          2m03.044s
 3. Kagayama (Suzuki)        2m03.309s
 4. Toseland (Ducati Xerox)  2m03.347s
 5. Nieto (Ducati SC)        2m03.759s
 6. Muggeridge (Honda)       2m03.870s
 7. Walker (Kawasaki)        2m03.927s
 8. Gimbert (Yamaha)         2m03.999s
 9. Laconi (Ducati Xerox)    2m04.011s
10. Silva (Yamaha)           2m04.077s