Sete Gibernau admits the adrenaline was pumping when he took part in his first competitive MotoGP action for over two years, during Sunday's timed 'qualifying' session at the Jerez test.
The 36-year-old, involved in more last lap showdowns with Valentino Rossi than any other rider, has come out of retirement for a MotoGP return with the newly formed Grupo Francisco Hernando satellite Ducati team.
The Spaniard, riding at the scene of his 2004 Spanish Grand Prix victory, took his Desmosedici around the Andalusian track in a best time of 1min 40.228sec, 1.582sec behind Casey Stoner but good enough for a solid eighth position.
“It feels great to be back in competitive action again,” said Gibernau, who was mobbed by the home fans at Jerez. “Even though we're not at the first race and my shoulder is still not 100%, I was able to push pretty hard out there this afternoon and the adrenaline was pumping.
“I know it is going to take time before we are truly competitive but my aim is to have fun and enjoy racing again and I feel very happy right now. We still have plenty of work to do with the bike and also on finding the most effective working system because this is an entirely new team but I want to thank everybody for their effort so far.
“Qatar won't be easy but we're taking things step by step and our target there will be to build on the progress we have made here,” added the former double MotoGP World Championship runner-up.