Loris Capirossi ended day one at Estoril with a reasonable seventh-best time, putting the Ducati Marlboro man on the provisional second row.

Remarkably the Italian pulled in at the end of a lap that could have put him on pole - Capirossi had clocked the fastest intermediate times in the first three sections of the track but didn't feel like he was going that fast, so he came into the pits!

"We used today to verify the modifications we used at Brno, and we're very happy with our progress," said Capirossi who was just 0.753 seconds off provisional pole position. "We're very close to the fastest guys and we know exactly what to do to improve for tomorrow. It's a pity about the fast lap that I ended early - I never realised I was going that quick so I came into the pits. But we're confident we can be fast when we need to be tomorrow and Sunday."

"The wind makes things quite difficult for everyone," said technical director Corrado Cecchinelli of the troublesome breeze. "You can choose the correct gearing, then the wind stops, so the gearing is no longer correct. And the wind also blows sand onto the track which makes things slippery for the riders.

"As far as the bike goes, we're continuing with the new parts we used successfully at Brno last month. Loris is also using some new larger diameter Ohlins forks that make the bike more stable on the brakes and better in direction changes," he added.



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