By Lisa Crouch
Wet weather during the opening Friday practice sessions in Valencia seemed to particularly suit the Ducati riders, with the Pramac team of Loris Capirossi and Randy De Puniet finishing fifth and seventh overall.
Capirossi, who is running the number 58 on his bike this weekend in tribute to the late Marco Simoncelli, felt he lost out in the second wet session as the new tyres didn't work for him and he chose to practice on the used set from his successful morning session.
"It was an honour to ride with Marco's number on my bike," said the Italian racing veteran. "Apart from that, it was a bad afternoon. The tyres didn't work, so in the final minutes, we had to use my tyres from this morning. They were a bit worn, but I still managed to improve my second-session time by three seconds. I'm happy with how the morning went, and I'm very optimistic for tomorrow. We can do well."
Fellow Pramac rider De Puniet was more satisfied with his overall performance.
"I'm satisfied. The track, this morning was quite dry, principally at the end of the session and I finished in seventh place." The French racer added, "In the afternoon, instead, with the wet track I did well, finishing with the seventh best lap time. The feeling with the bike is good, I hope it will be tomorrow. There are many chances to close this season with a good result, even if my thoughts are with Marco and his family."
The Grand Prix in Cheste on Sunday will be the last for Capirossi as he is set to retire at the end of this season. De Puniet has still not confirmed who he will be riding for next season, though it is rumoured that he is destined for either LCR Honda or Suzuki at present.