At 10:38am on Friday the ninth and final 2012 MotoGP
machine to race as part of the new 'Claiming Rule Team' category made its track debut.
That bike was the Gresini Racing FTR-Honda, which is conducting a three-day shakedown at Imola with race rider Michele Pirro, prior to joining the rest of the premier-class field at next week's Jerez
"Finally I could ride my CRT, the bike I'll make my MotoGP
debut with this year,” said Pirro, winner of last year's Valencia Moto2 Grand Prix for Gresini.
“It was a real 'shakedown' during which we tried to verify that everything works as it should. We were also able to define where and how to progress in the next two days at Imola, but especially for the next test in Jerez.
“We are aware that we have so much work to do but we are extremely confident. The potential is very high and if we make the right choices we can do well. A few laps are not enough to make any big statements, but the enthusiasm is great and this will help us during the challenge ahead."
The Gresini CRT is the only design to use a Honda CBR1000RR engine, which - like the electronics - is being provided by World Superbike racing specialists Ten Kate.
Pirro's team-mate Alvaro Bautista will ride a Honda RC213V 'full' prototype.
test is the final chance for track action prior to the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.