Nicky Hayden is hoping that extra seat team made possible by Monday's Catalunya post-race test can help turn around a demoralising start to his Ducati career.
The 2006 world champion, who spent six years at Repsol Honda, has scored just 13 points from his first five rounds on a Desmosedici, compared with 90 points for team-mate and title leader Casey Stoner.
The American has been hit particularly hard by the decision to slash the amount of MotoGP tests, for financial reasons, while unpredictable weather at all but one event so far has also limited the seat time available.
“This obviously isn't an easy period for me but I have to think positive and continue to give it everything,” said Nicky, presently just 15th in the championship standings. “That is my way of dealing things and that is what I'll continue to do alongside my team.
“I'm looking forward to getting out there and racing again but I'm also looking forward to the test afterwards. I really need some testing and more time in the saddle.
“This year I'm really feeling the testing ban that has been brought in and I know it's the same for everybody but for me in particular I know I'd really benefit from some test time, so hopefully we can get some good work done in Barcelona that will help me take a step forward,” he explained.
Ducati MotoGP project director Livio Suppo was at pains to point out that the Italian factory remains committed to improving the fortunes of all its riders.
“On Tuesday after the [Mugello] race Vittoriano [Guareschi, test rider] was back on track for three days of testing at the same circuit with the objective of improving our bike for Casey and for the other riders who are at times struggling to find a comfortable set-up for the GP9,” he said.
“In Barcelona we'll have a few set-up and electronic updates to try in the day of testing on Monday after the race, so we'll have chance for our world championship riders to give us some feedback and direction for more useful development in the future,” Suppo added.
The next best Ducati rider in the world championship standings after Stoner is Pramac-backed rookie Mika Kallio, in 14th.
After Catalunya, the second and final opportunity for testing during the season will be after Brno.