Following Valentino Rossi's first laps on the 2012 Ducati MotoGP bike at Jerez on Friday, the Italian handed the bike over to team-mate Nicky Hayden on Saturday (pictured).
The American, who had claimed the present Desmosedici GP11's first podium at the same circuit the previous Sunday, was made to wait until 1:00pm due to unfavourable weather.
But once out on track Hayden quickly made up for lost time, lapping almost continuously for a total of 61 laps.
“When I woke up this morning, the sky was really grey and the track was completely wet,” recalled Hayden. “I was pretty disappointed. I didn't think we'd be able to do anything because it wouldn't have made sense to waste a day testing in those conditions.
“The situation got better and better though, and after lunch, I was able to put on my leathers. I couldn't wait to ride, and it was worth the wait. It's an honour to be able to participate in the first track test of the GP12 because it doesn't happen very often that you get to ride a bike on the track for the first time: it's a special feeling.
“Everything went well, and we didn't have a single problem: the motor is really nice to use, and I had a lot of fun riding the bike. I hope I gave some useful feedback to Filippo and the boys. I know they'll be working on this bike while we go back to focusing on the next race, because this season just started.”
Hayden's appearance marked the third and final day of Ducati's private Jerez test, which began with test riders Vittoriano Guareschi (also Ducati Marlboro team manager) and Franco Battaini on Thursday.
“First of all, I'd like to thank everyone at Ducati,” said Ducati technical boss Filippo Preziosi, “because thanks to their hard work and expertise, it was possible to carry out three days of trouble-free testing and complete nearly a thousand kilometers with the GP12 in its track debut.
“Having received consistent feedback about the bike from four different riders puts us in a position to efficiently continue the development process, because we can prioritize the work we have left to carry out.”
No lap times were released by Ducati for any riders at the test.
The 2012 MotoGP rules will allow a maximum engine size of 1000cc, compared with 800cc at present, although cylinder bore restrictions will limit ultimate performance and it is not yet confirmed that all manufacturers will chose to use the full 1000cc available.
Between them, Rossi and Hayden won all of the 990cc MotoGP seasons, from 2002-2006. Both are already signed to stay at the Factory Ducati Team for 2012.
Battaini also tested developments for the GP11 at the test.
The 2012 Japanese MotoGP bikes are yet to be seen in public.