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2003 SBK Superbike
March 09 - Valencia E
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April 27 Welkom SA
May 11 Jerez SP
May 25 Le Mans FR
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June 15 Catalunya SP
June 28 Assen NL
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July 27 Sachsenring GR
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Sept 20 Jacarepagua BR
Oct 05 Motegi JP
Oct 10 Sepang Malaysia
Oct 19 Phillip Island AU
Nov 02 Valencia

2003 AMA Superbike
March 5-9 Daytona
April 4-6 CA Speedway
May 2-4 Infineon Sonoma,
May 16-18 Road Atlanta,
May 30/June1 Pikes Peak
June 6-8 Road America
June 27-29 Brainerd
July 10-13 Laguna Seca
July 25-27 Mid-Ohio
August 29-31 Virginia
September 20 Barber AL

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FastDates.com November 2003
Page 1 • Racing & Calendar News
Superbike, MotoGP, Calendar Girls

Official Calendar of the SBK World Superbike Championship
Home of the official SBK Fast Dates & Team Ducati Corse Umbrella Girls

Week's Starting Grid: test new 2004 Aprilia RSVR Superbike!
Rossi signs with Yamaha It was the Challenge, Not the Money
Neil Hodgsen Interview New 2003 World Superbike Champion speaks out

2004 FIM and AMA Superbike Rules revealed!
New 2004 Aprilia RSVR Superbike First USA track test with Janelle

New 2004 Honda, Yamaha Kawasaki 1000cc Superbikes
SBK World Superbike Hodgson and Xaus at Magney-Cours season final

MotoGP Valencia - Rossi ends the season and his career with Honda
AMA Superbike Roberts wins Barber finale, Mladin takes 4th title.
Britsh Superbike Shane Shakey Byrne clinches the '03

2003 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show 2-Day Street Bike Extravaganza

Ducati Fast Dates Calendar Girls gone wild at Laguna World Superbike

The Pit Board Editorial, Race Schedules, Fan Mail, Index, Feature Articles

Underwear is Like Online Dating...

Chandi does Multistrada

Eric Bostrom To Head Factory Ducati
Supported AMA Superbike Challenge for 2004

Bologna (Italy) Wed. 19 Nov. 2003: Eric Bostrom is set to spearhead the Ducati attack on the 2004 AMA Superbike championship in one of the most exciting challenges seen in North America’s premier motorcycle racing series for many years. The 27 year-old from San Francisco, who celebrates his birthday today, could not have wished for better news as it was announced that he will form part of the factory-supported Ducati effort to claim the AMA title for the first time since 1994. The world-famous racing division from Bologna will be providing the machines and the technical support for the factory-supported team, which will take part in the 18-race 2004 AMA Superbike schedule with the new Ducati 999

“We are extremely satisfied to have reached a two-year agreement with Eric Bostrom to take part in the AMA championship” declared Ducati Corse Superbike Director Paolo Ciabatti. “As well as being an extremely talented rider, Eric will also be an excellent ‘ambassador’ for Ducati in one of the most important strategic markets for our company”.

“Thanks to the collaboration with Terry Gregoricka of Ducati Austin, who will make available the logistics structure, technicians and the experience of his team at their new Road Atlanta premises in a two-year deal, and with the appointment of a Ducati Corse engineer as technical director, we are certain that next year will see us obtain some important results”.

Michael Lock, Ducati North America CEO, added: “This is the good news that we have been expecting for some time. Finally Ducati will have the right package of rider, team and machinery to be able to put together a serious challenge for the AMA title. We are sure that Eric’s talent and popularity will help Ducati achieve major visibility in the North American market”.

Las Vegas resident Bostrom, who has four US National titles to his name, finished seventh overall in the 2003 Chevy Trucks AMA Superbike championship with 350 points, but would surely have finished higher up the table had he not suffered a badly-dislocated right shoulder in a first turn pile-up during the opening lap of the Laguna Seca World Superbike race.

"I'm totally pumped to sign with Ducati. They've shown a huge commitment to step up their American Superbike campaign” declared Eric Bostrom. “Obviously, jumping onto the World Championship machine brings high expectations, but at the moment I just can't wait to get on the bike. Between the 999, myself, and the Michelins, 2004 is going to be an exciting year. A year that will hopefully see a Ducati twin back on top in the U.S. and give the Ducatisti something to cheer about."

"I'd also like to thank all of my fans and sponsors for their support during this time of change in my career. I've received lots of encouraging e-mails from my fans and hope to continue giving everyone something to cheer about as my career continues to progress forward."

"Obviously leaving Kawasaki USA was a tough decision. We really had great successes over the years and I really felt comfortable there, but I believe that joining the Ducati family is a positive step in the right direction for my career”.

The Ducati 999, which will be racing for the first time in the AMA championship, will be able to count on the support of French tyre manufacturer Michelin, recreating a successful long-term partnership that has brought the two companies a total of seven world Riders’ titles, including the 2003 crown for Neil Hodgson in the Ducati 999’s debut season.

“We are delighted to be able to continue our successful collaboration with Ducati, also in the AMA championship” declared Nicolas Goubert, Michelin’s Head of Motorcycle Competition. “With its different circuits and conditions, the AMA Superbike championship will offer a major technical challenge for us and we are happy to face up to it with our long-term partner Ducati”.

With over three months to go before the start of the 2004 season, Eric will be seen in action on the Ducati 999 for the first time at Daytona tyre testing on 4-6 December, but already expectation is high over the combination of one of the USA’s most talented riders and one of the world’s most exciting Superbike racing machines.

Shocker! - Kawasaki Releases Eric Bostrom,
Pulls out of AMA Superbike

Kawasaki USA to focus just on Superstock and Supersport in 2004
Irvine, CA , Nov. 14th: - The Director of professional racing for Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., Bruce Stjernstrom today announced the company's decision not to contest the 2004 AMA Superbike Series, and instead to concentrate on the Superstock and Supersport series races. At the same time, he indicated that Kawasaki would release the company's Superbike racer, Eric Bostrom, to "pursue his personal career" objectives.

"Our decision is to put our team effort behind the Superstock and Supersport series at a time when the AMA's Superbike series is being restructured," said Stjernstrom. "Eric's contributions to the team and Kawasaki have been enormous over the past several years, and there's just no way we could stand in his way once the decision was made to not race the Superbike series," he continued.

According to Stjernstrom, team management discussed the company's 2004 plans with Bostrom and a mutual agreement was reached, which the director of racing says "is a prime example of the respect that exists between the two parties. Kawasaki certainly wishes only the best for Eric in the future," concluded Stjernstrom.

Editor's Note: Kawasaki's decission to pull out of AMA Superbike probably has a lot to do with the late arrival of the new ZX1000R Superbike, which probably won't arrive in America until the spring of 2004. Too late in the season to develop it as a competive Superbike against the current Honda RC51 and Suzuki GSXR1000. For the same reason we also doubt Yamaha with its all-new R1 will return to AMA Superike Having their Japanese parent companies spending all their race budget on MotoGP and not developing the new generation of in-line fours to compete in World Superbike is having a direct impact on various countries national superbike programs as well. Hopefully Ducati will still field a factory rider in AMA Superbike next season to bolster the lone 2 rider teams from Suzuki and Honda.

The Ducati Classic GT features the new DS1000 aircooled engine in a retro unfaired chassis complete with wire spoke wheels and a twin shock swingarm, but with modern front forks, brakes and electronics. More HERE

Ducati to Preview Dream Machines at Cycle World Shows,
Long Beach - Dec 12-14th and New York - Jan 2-4th
November 7th - Ducati North America will be bringing to America their 3 new "Dream Machine" Sport Classic prototypes which were premiered at last month's Tokyo Motorcycle Show. Inspired by the Sportbikes of the 1970s, Ducati’s Three SportClassic Prototypes are the Stuff of Enthusiast’s Dreams

The GT 1000 shown above is a sport bike eminently suitable for everyday use, striking a perfect balance between the comfort of a two-seater and the performance of a twin-cylinder Desmo engine. Tradition and stylish elegance are merged seamlessly in this machine, made even more interesting by high-spec componentry and the road performance modern Ducati motorcycles.

Two other models to be displayed include the Paul Smart 1000 inspired by the 750 Imola on which Paul Smart rode to victory in the historic 200 Miles of Imola in 1972. The PaulSmart 1000 bike brings the spirit of its predecessor back to life with levels of performance able that surpass the expectations of today’s most demanding two-wheel enthusiasts. And the Sport 1000 is a gutsy “Café Racer”. Ducati through-and-through, with a coat of bold Ducati yellow paint, the Sport delivers timeless good looks and excitement that fans and enthusiasts expect of all Ducati sport bikes.

The USA unveiling will take place at the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California December 11th 2003, and the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City January 2nd 2004. You can see more details and pictures on all three Ducati Dream Machines HERE.


on Television

You will be watching on Wednesday Nov 19th 10/9 pm on CBS as Victoria's Secret kicks off the holiday season with their 2003 fashion show with a special performance by Sting.

Last year's broadcast was a little disappointing with poor direction, editing, and cameras that were always out of focus. And far too many jiggling butts with models on the catwalk who didn't work out, with the lone exception of hardbody Naomi Campbell. Hopefully this year will be better.

Meanwhile, we'll console ourselves with the new 166 page perfect bound Victori'as Secret 2004 Christmas Catalog with images like those at left.

Don't look for American Honda to be running any advertising on this prime time evening special. We can't photograph their race bikes even with fully clothed models.

Everything You Wanted to Know about running
2004 World Superbike and Supers port 2004 Spec Tires

SBK Press Office, November 13, 2003: The following amendments to the Superbike and Supersport Technical Regulations have been approved: Tyres (Superbike)
1) Tyres may be replaced from those fitted to the homologated motorcycle.

2) The use of tyre warmers is allowed.

3) At each event, during free practices, qualifying practices, Superpole, warm up and races, a maximum of 15 rear and 11 front tyres may be used. Front and rear wet tyres will be included in the total quantity count. A Technical Steward must mark all of these tyres. During free practices, qualifying practices, Superpole, warm up and races, no motorcycle may enter the track without the front and rear tyres being marked. If the riders are given a red flag during a race (or during the Superpole for reasons beyond rider's control) the FIM Technical Director may allow an additional set of tyres to be used. For each race, one extra set of tyres can be put on the second motorcycle to have it ready for substitution on the grid in case of failure of the first motorcycle.

4) The competitors must use only the tyres distributed during the event by the Official Supplier.
All tyres to be used must be easily identifiable with a colour marking or a numerical system to be applied by the Official Supplier at the time of manufacturing. At the beginning of the event, the Official Supplier must deliver to the FIM Technical Director 4 samples of each type of tyre which will be used at the event. When the Official Supplier delivers the samples of the tyres to the FIM Technical Director, he must also give a written explanation of the marking and the general characteristics of the different types of tyres.

The FIM Technical Director may, at his discretion, require the exchange of one or more competitors' tyres for a tyre sample under his control. The tyres exchanged remain under his control and he can exchange them for the ones of another competitor. Tyres (Supersport)
1) Tyres must be a fully moulded type carrying all size and sidewall marking of the tyres for commercial sale to the public. Tyres of V and Z rating must be used. The depth of the tyre treads must be at least 2.5 mm over the entire tyre pattern width at a pre-race control. The tyres must have a positive and negative tread of 96% positive and minimum 4% negative (land and sea ratio). The maximum distance from the external edge of the tyre to 50% of the tread elements is 35 mm. One size for the front and two sizes for the rear are allowed. Each size, front and rear, must be available with the same tread pattern as the commercial tyres for the road use. The manufacturers may only submit one front and rear pattern for approval. The previously approved tyre pattern will remain valid until one year after the introduction of a new approved tyre pattern.

The FIM/CCR will grant the approval. The manufacturers must submit the tyre for approval 30 days prior to its first use. Templates proving the land and sea ratio must be included. The tyres must have a DOT and/or E mark. The DOT and/or E mark must appear on the tyre sidewall. Only when a race or practice has been declared "wet", the use of a special tyre commonly known as a full wet tyre is allowed. Wet tyres must be a fully moulded tyre, no hand cutting is allowed on moulded tyres. The use of hand cut tyres is not allowed. Wet tyres do not need to carry DOT or E marks; however these tyres must be marked "Not for Highway Use" or "NHS". At each event, during free practices, qualifying practices, warm up and the race, a maximum of 11 rear and 9 front tyres may be used. A Technical Steward must mark all of these tyres. During free practices, qualifying practices, warm up and the race, no motorcycle may enter the track without the front and rear tyres being marked. If the riders are given a red flag during the race, the FIM Technical Director may allow an additional set of tyres to be used. For the race, one extra set of tyres can be put on the second motorcycle to have it ready for substitution on the grid in case of failure of the first motorcycle.

2) The competitors must use only the tyres distributed during the event from the Official Supplier.
All tyres to be used must be easily identifiable with a colour marking or a numerical system to be applied by the Official Supplier at the time of manufacturing. At the beginning of the event, the Official Supplier must deliver to the FIM Technical Director 4 samples of each type of tyre which will be used at the event. When the Official Supplier delivers the samples of the tyres to the FIM Technical Director, he must also give a written explanation of the marking and the general characteristics of the different types of tyres. The FIM Technical Director may, at his discretion, require the exchange of one or more competitors' tyres for a tyre sample under his control. The tyres exchanged remain under his control and he can exchange them for the
ones of another competitor.

For additional information on the new 2004 World Superbike and Supersport technical regulations for bikes and Pirelli Spec Tires go to: Pit Board

Laconi chased the factory Ducati 999s all this year, now he's got one of his own.

Pirelli Tire Tests at Valencia for 2004 Superbike Teams

Laconi and Toseland make 999 Debut for Ducati at Valencia
Valencia (Spain) 13 November 2003: The new Ducati Fila 2004 World Superbike championship pairing of Regis Laconi and James Toseland made their first appearance for the team this week as they completed a three-day testing session at the Valencia circuit in Spain, organised by Pirelli. The Italian manufacturer will be official one-make tyre supplier for next season’s World Superbike, World Supersport and European Superstock championships.

The 28 year-old Frenchman, who finished fourth in this year’s championship, was quick right from the start of the test on Tuesday and ended up with a time of 1’35.6 on qualifying tyres, which was the quickest time recorded in the three days. During his total of 215 laps, Laconi also did several long-runs, setting a quickest time of 1’35.9.

“It’s the first time I have ridden the 999 after following them around all year so I’m very happy!” declared Regis. “Ducati have made the 999 fast, it’s so enjoyable to ride and I’m already working very well with the team. We have a good feeling with the bike and we did a lot of work in these days, testing a lot of tyres and changing the settings. The front tyre is already OK and good for my style of riding and it’s important to set a good lap time right at the start”.

Britain’s James Toseland also got to grips with the championship-winning Ducati 999 and Pirelli rubber for the first time and the 23 year-old from Sheffield was pleased with his time of 1’36.4, recorded during a total of 195 laps.

“It’s all new for me and the only thing familiar is the track!” joked Toseland. “The first three days have been difficult as I knew they would be, but we’ve just got to get into the massive learning curve. The chassis and the riding style of the 999 are very different so we’re working hard on that as well. It’s all just a confidence-building exercise really. I’m pleasantly surprised with the way everything went and we’re not far off the times I set earlier this year. If we improve like this, I know it’s going to be a good championship”.

Lorenzo Lanzi continued testing with the Ducati 749R the Italian will race in the 2004 World Supersport championship, setting a quickest time of 1’39.3 in his 180 laps.

Rutter and Renegade Ducati 1st at MACAU GRAND PRIX
Nov. 17th, Macau, Indonisia: A Ducati 1-2 finish at the 37th running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix saw British Superbike star Michael Rutter take his Renegade Ducati 998 to victory on Saturday, his 2nd successive Macau victory aboard the Ducati Manchester-backed machine. Ducati-mounted John McGuiness followed the Macau expert across the line to take 2nd. Rutter led the 15-lap race from start to finish beating his closest rival, John McGuinness, riding the Zong Shen Racing-backed Ducati 998, by a little over 5.5 seconds.

“I looked back early on and saw McGuinness behind me so I decided to go for a few quick laps and try to break clear,” said Rutter after the race. Not only did he break clear but in doing so he also broke the lap record by almost a full second. The experienced Ducati star only eased the pace in the closing stages of the race so as to ensure his win after he had felt his soft compound rear tyre was starting to lose traction.

McGuinness, winner of the race in 2001, admitted that he’d tried to stay with Rutter but said that he could not match his pace and, conscious of the fact that he lacked practice aboard the new Ducati, settled for 2nd position, over 6 seconds ahead of the veteran Macau event rider Brian Morrison aboard his Suzuki.

British Supersport rider Stuart Easton might well have taken a podium finish on the ETI Racing Ducati if not for a mistake at the Melco Hairpin in the early stages of the race. Running wide, he lost time when forced to stop to disentangle his Ducati 998 from the trackside barrier. The 20-year-old British rider dropped from 3rd to 16th but battled back through the field to finish an impressive 5th place on his first-ever ride aboard the Ducati Superbike.

American entries at the race included Sportrider magazine editor Don Maeda in 15th on a Honda RC51, and Dave Perez in 17th on a Graves Motorsports Yamaha R1. The Macau Grand Prix is not part of the world championship series. Originally conceived in 1954 as an amateur event for local motoring enthusiasts, the Macau Grand Prix is today a very prestigious race meeting that attracts entries from all over the world.

Rider Bike Team Gap: 1 Rutter Ducati Renegade Racing; 2 McGuiness Ducati Zong Shen Racing 5.512; 3 Morrison Suzuki SERT 11.396; 4 Barth Suzuki Fylde Superbikes 37.149; 5 Easton Ducati E.T.I. Racing 47.313; 6 Lougher Ducati Zong Shen Racing 52.269; 7 Britton Suzuki E.T.I. Racing 1:00.596; 8 May Suzuki Team Embry/May 1:03.773; 9 Toye Suzuki Lee's Cycle Racing 1:05.421 ; 10 Donald Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 1:15.002; 11 Duffus Suzuki Team Pirelli 1:16.163; 12 Anstey Triumph Valmoto 1:16.907; 13 Jennings Suzuki Matlock Motomax 1:18.703 ; 14 Plater Honda Honda Racing 1:30.851; 15 Maeda Honda Honda Dream Racing 1:57.823 ; 16 Parrett Yamaha Team Promotive 2:01.409; 17 Perez Yamaha Graves Motorsport 2:02.626 ; 18 Palmer Suzuki Bender Four Star 2:09.347 ; 19 Praia Honda Mavi Sport 2:13.811; 20 Mascarenhas Honda Moto Marcelino 2:20.615; 21 Chia Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 1 lap ; 22 Jerzenbeck Suzuki Lucas-Bikersworld 1 lap; 23 Percy Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 1 lap; 24 Mac Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 1 lap; 25 Fernandes Honda Santomar Racing Team 1 lap; 26 Leong Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 2 laps ; 27 Farguhar Suzuki McAdoo Racing 3 laps

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Xaus to Race Ducati Desmosedici for Team D'Antin in 2004 MotoGP
Nov 17th - Having confirmed Neil Hodgson´s place in the team at the final race of the year in Valencia, Team D’Antin has now announce that Spanish rider, Ruben Xaus, will also be joining their MotoGP team for 2004.

With Hodgson winning the 2003 Superbike World Championship and Xaus securing 2nd position in the series as team mates, Team D'Antin, which will be the only Ducati satellite team in the series, are full of confidence for the 2004 season. The team will start testing their Ducati Desmosedici’s on December 10th, 11th and 12th at Valencia.

Ruben Xaus: "I'm excited with the new challenge and would like to personally thank Luis d´Antin for this opportunity. I'm going to give it everything, 200% for him and for the team. I'm happy to be in a Spanish team and to continue racing with Neil. I have a good relationship with him and off the track we respect each other. I've been with Ducati for the past 4 years and I'm pleased to be able to continue. Until now I haven't had the chance to try the MotoGP bike and I'm really looking forward to it."

Luis d´Antin: "I'm pleased to have Neil and Ruben with us next year. Both are great characters and the whole team will do their best to have everything ready for them. Having seen the performance of other riders that have made the move from Superbike to MotoGP last year, I truly believe that we can expect great things from our new team."

Shakey to AMA Superbike?
This means Xaus will not be coming to America next year to race in AMA Superbike for the Ducati Austin team under contract to Ducati as Ducati SpA had hoped, earlier, to bolster promotion in their important US market. The next rider in line to ride for Ducati in Americain 2004 is reigning British Superbike Champion Shane "Shakey" Burns.

DuHamel -3 more years at Honda in AMA Superbike
Nov 10th -American Honda's veteran superbike star Yvon DuHamel has confirmed he has resigned with American Honda's roadracing team for 3 more years. The former AMA National Champion has always been the pillar on the team and in most recent years finishing runner-up in the AMA championship behind teammates Ben Bostrom and Nicky Hayden.

2004 Aprilia RS1000RF!

New Aprilia R Sold Out!
Nov 10th -Did you miss it? Aprilia USA marketing director Robert Pandya just told us the 2003 production run of the sensational new 2004 model RS1000R and RF models which were released this past September are now sold out.
FastDates.com was the first publication in the world to release a test of the new RS Mille back in September.

Aprilia USA won't be taking delivery of any more of the new '04 models until the spring of 2004, just about the time all the new Japanese 1000cc superbikes are expected to make their way to America as well. If you've been chomping at the bit to get one of the new 2004 superbikes from anyone other than Ducati, you can expect to wait another 4 months until at least March '04. Still, if you've got the hots for a new Mille, still might be one left at a local Aprilia dealer, somewhere. Every new British sportbike magazine, as well as FastDates.com test rider and World Superbike girl Janelle Pierzina has raved about how great the new Mille is, and how great a price value it is compared to its Italian rival.

Tuono Project Bike

Anyone that's ridden an Aprilia Tunono or Tuono R knows what a blast the big bore naked bike is. Putting a set of motocross handlebars on the now previous generation Mille turns the big and bulky superbike into the ultimate boy toy (calendar girls excepted).

But if the price of a $12,000 - $20,000 Tuono is what is holding you back from getting one of these great bikes, have no fear. The previous generation 1999 to 2003 Milles will soon be flooding the market in the next year at huge discount as the new generation superbikes become available, and used previous generation Milles will be avaialble for half the cost of a Tuono. With just about a $1,000 in conversion parts you can turn a Mille into a Tuono.

In fact, that's what we suggest in the test of the new '04 Mille a few months back, is to get an old Mille and convert it to a Tuono which is just what what editor Jim Gianatsis is doing now. We bought an insurance "totaled" 2001 Mille R for $3,800

The bike was actually perfect mechinacally, with just minor cosmetic scratches on the bodywork, decals and gas tank (which could be left as is or easily repainted), but since a Tuono is nothing more than a Mille without bodywork we didn;t have to worry.

The biggest part of the conversion is getting the Tuono upper tripple clamp and handlebar mounts for the Ohlins front forks which are available from Aprilia USA. Other conversion parts like the small headlight cowling and longer hydralic lines for the taller handlebars were placed on backorder by Aprilia. And no aftermarket product companies offered hydraulic lines for the Tuonos.

But just this week we discovered that Galfer, the brake people, also offered and could custom make hydraulic lines. We drew them up the schematics for the longer lines, faxed them over to Dean at Galfer, and by return overnight UPS we had a full set of race spec clear plastic sleeved stainless steel braid hydraulic lines for our Tuono project bike. If you need lines for a Tuono conversion, or for any other other bike just have your dealer give Galfer a call at
ph: 1-805-653-5012.

Look for our feature article on our Mille to Tuono conversion in the coming weeks.

The New 2004 FastDates.com Calendars now available!

Covergirls Janelle, Chandi and Joanna Krupa get down to work
in the 2004 Garage Girls calendar available right here.

Capirossi and Desmosedici V race
with F104 Starfighter

Nov 10th - Motociclismo magazine and the Italian Air Force had organized a runway race between the Ducati Desmosedici – the Ducati MotoGP racebike which set an all-time speed record of 332.4 km/h at Mugello – and a Lockheed F104 Starfire of the 9th Fighter Wing and the Italian airbase of Grazzanise (Caserta).

However, the unfortunate tragedy in Iraq just the day before the scheduled race, where 12 Italian soldiers and 34 people total were killed in a terrorist bambing, caused the Italian military to cancel the publicity stunt out of respect.
For Italy, this was their biggest military death till since World War II and the entire country was in shock and mourning.

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Foggy Petronas team make first test with new rider Chris Walker
Thursday 13 November 2003-
Carl Fogarty was provided with immediate proof of the value of new signing Chris Walker during his Foggy PETRONAS Racing team's two-day test at Valencia.
Chris was in action on the FP1 for the first time since signing for FPR and joined team-mate Troy Corser in the first chance to test the Pirelli tyres that all World Superbike championship teams will be using for the 2004
season. But the focus of four-times world champion Foggy was firmly on his new man, who has replaced fellow Brit James Haydon.

Carl said: "This has been one of the best tests I have been to and the atmosphere within the team has been really positive. Chris had a few mechanical problems on the second day but the first day went very well. He
loved the bike from the word go, especially the way it handled in the corners. And I was very surprised to see that he was nearly as fast as Troy at such an early stage. Chris did not really have much of a chance to test thePirelli tyres, but Troy went very well on them on the second day.

"I was very impressed with Troy's performance. He did around 16 laps on the same tyre, with his last lap quicker than the first. I don't think I ever saw that with our Michelins. We still have a bit of work to find the perfect tyre for our bike but Troy said the Pirelli tyres gave good consistent grip throughout. So everything looks good for exciting racing and close competition in the championship next year."

Chris had finished the first day with a best time of 1:38.2, just half a second down on his team-mate. But, while Troy broke into the 1:36s, mechanical problems prevented Chris from making progress with lap times on the
second day.

Chris commented: "I spent the first day familiarising with the bike and the way the team works, but I was unable
to make much progress on the second day because of a few problems with the bike. But I already know that the
bike does certain things very well. All I can do at this early stage is use Troy as a benchmark and I was only half
a second behind him on the first day which was very encouraging. I didn't get much chance to test the new tyres
but there will be time for that."

Troy said: "I was doing lap times today as good as the ones at our last test here, with similar engine performance. It is still early days in our selection but the signs are that the one-tyre rule is going to work well for the championship."