It takes a brave Ducati rider during the 800cc era to say 'the problem with the front seems to be solved' - but that's the opinion of Loris Capirossi heading into the fourth round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship at Le Mans this weekend.
The Pramac rider, eleventh and twelfth in the two races he has finished this year, believes big progress was made in the post-race Estoril test.
“The test after the Estoril race showed that we're making progress with the bike. The problem with the front seems to have been solved, along with some other small issues,” said Loris, who was 14th quickest at the test.
“Sure, the bike isn't perfect, but the work we carried out makes us optimistic about the future. We want to show our capability, and we hope we'll be able to do that.
“As I said after the last race, we're only getting started. We have plenty of time to put together a great bike. Everything depends on us, and we're confident,” he insisted.
Pramac Racing technical director Fabio Sterlacchini was a little more cautious about the progress.
“The problem at the last race was the front end, so we tried various solutions [at the post-race test] and perhaps one of those could help us go forward with our development once and for all,” he said.
“The circuit seems custom-made for our bike: it doesn't have long straights to speak of, so a lot depends on the riders. We're pleased with the most recent results, and we need to stay on that path.”