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Ducati want '08 bike to suit all riders

Ducati technical director Filippo Preziosi says the team want to ensure that next year's GP8 design suits all their riders' styles

While Casey Stoner has dominated the 2007 championship with the GP7, his teammate Loris Capirossi has struggled all season to adapt to the bike, and has had particular difficulty with its power delivery. The Italian is 182 points behind Stoner in eighth place in the standings.

"Work has been done homogeneously on every aspect that can be operated on: engine, electronics, frame set-up," Preziosi told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"On the first two fronts we try to eliminate the problems highlighted by Capirossi, that is a difficulty in the power output when the bike leans on a side.

"As for the vehicle, we've tried to follow the indications from Stoner, who uses some extreme settings in his set-up. In any case we want bikes that all four 2008 riders can use at best."

Marco Melandri has been signed from Gresini Honda to replace Capirossi alongside Stoner next season. Current Tech 3 Yamaha rider Sylvain Guintoli's switch to factory Ducati squad Pramac d'Antin has also been confirmed, and reports in the Italian press today suggest that the team may also recruit Toni Elias from Gresini.

Stoner and Ducati have had a clear advantage over the field for much of the 2007 season, but Preziosi says the team cannot afford to be complacent.

"Our rivals have been good at bridging the gap and taking advantage of the full potential of the 800cc. We can't look at what they do, we must push as much as we are capable of doing," he said.

"The tests on the GP8 started back in April, in line with what we've done in previous years. The new bike has already covered around 5,000 kilometres. We've ordered the various components that are on their way to assemble the bikes.

"Many details are new, but from the outside you won't see practically anything new. We've build a bike that tries to be easier to work on for the mechanics, in order to take advantage of the little time there is during each practice session."

Last year the new Ducati tested publicly in the post-race sessions at Motegi, but Preziosi says this will not be repeated this season.

"Back then we were forced by the events. We wanted to test the new bike in secret at Mugello in July with the works riders, but the Barcelona crash changed the plans radically," he said.

"This time our rivals will see the new bike only at the end of November, in the Jerez tests."

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