Scott Redding has his sights set on a 2013 MotoGP
ride after a successful debut for Ducati in testing at Mugello.
The 19-year-old Englishman completed 127 laps of the Italian Grand Prix circuit during private testing for the factory, setting a best lap of 'under 1m 50s' while using 'hard tyres'.
To put that into perspective, the fastest Desmosedici race lap in July's grand prix was a 1m 48.179s by Nicky Hayden.
Factory team-mate Valentino Rossi
set a 1m 48.444s (on his way to fourth place) and satellite rider Hector Barbera a 1m 48.605s.
After the test Redding, who had never ridden anything bigger than a 600cc Moto2 machine, told BBC Sport
"It was hard but fun and definitely more than I expected.
"The main problem was the speed at the end of the straight, I wasn't expecting it to be so fast.
"I made my target lap time and I felt comfortable. I think it's the direction I need to go in.
"[Ducati Corse general director] Filippo Preziosi seemed pretty happy with the lap time and my enthusiasm, I just kept going at it and going at it.
"I think they were happy with how I've performed over the two days.
"I've done all I can do."
Fellow Moto2 star Andrea Iannone is also at the test, with both riders being linked to satellite GP12 race seats for next season.
Uncertainly surrounds the future of the present single-rider Pramac (Hector Barbera) and Cardion AB (Karel Abraham) entries, but Ducati appears keen to ensure it has a 'Junior Team' structure in which to develop future MotoGP
Moto2 title leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha) have already signed 2013 MotoGP
Hayden is the only Ducati rider so far confirmed for 2013, with Rossi weighing up a return to Yamaha.
Redding, a relative giant in Moto2 at 184cm tall and 74kg - Marquez weighs 59kg - is currently fifth in the 600cc standings for Marc VDS (Kalex).
Race winner Iannone is joint second for Speed Master (Speed Up). Iannone tested an 800cc Pramac Ducati at Mugello last year.