After Ducati’s success with its new twin pulse engine at Assen last weekend, riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss are planning an aggressive assault to secure podium spots in Rio this weekend.

After Ducati’s success with its new twin pulse engine at Assen last weekend, riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss are planning an aggressive assault to secure podium spots in Rio this weekend.

Fast and technical, the Piquet – bearing the name of F1 legend Nelson Piquet – puts riders and machinery to the test at the Jacarepagua circuit, the setting for the Rio Grand Prix.

"We go to Rio in a very positive mood", said Ducati Marlboro team director Livio Suppo. "The new engine is a further step forward, so we're looking forward to the next few races which should be very interesting for us.

Capirossi finished four seconds outside the final podium last weekend on the first outing with the new engine.

"The new engine is easier to ride than the Four Pulse, both in the dry and in rain conditions," Capirossi said. “This is our first real step forward since the season started and I think it's an important step, so now we want to keep moving forward.

“Rio is a very fast track with many fast, open corners and it's got an unbelievably quick main straight, so it suited our bike last year. But you never know what to expect when you go to Rio because the circuit can be very dirty, which complicates set-up work.

Capirossi’s team mate, Troy Bayliss, said: “I think the new engine is definitely the way to go for the future. It makes the bike smoother and more comfortable to ride, so the lap times come without taking risks. The Twin Pulse also makes the bike a little more stable because it's smoother on the gas. It feels like it's got more traction and it has got more traction. The only thing that most people complained about last year was that there wasn't much grip, and I guess it'll be pretty much the same this time."

At the moment Capirossi and Bayliss each have one bike equipped with the new engine and it will be several races before they have two new engines each.

Meanwhile, Sete Gibernau hopes to maintain his status as being the only rider to have a podium finish in every race so far this season. Sharing the points at the top of the leader board, Gibernau is looking forward to another hard-fought race to regain the championship lead.

“Assen and Rio are two races in a row so there is no time to work on the bike, but I'm confident that my team will do a great job. I'm also confident in myself, in Honda and Michelin so you will see me in Rio fighting in the front for the podium.”

Team mate Colin Edwards said: “Before last year I didn't know this track. I'm determined to do well and this means that I need to improve my qualifying. In Assen I started from the fifth row and finished sixth, it was a good race but I need to qualify better if I want to fight for the podium.”