Rookie Andrea Dovizioso appeared a little star struck when he lined up alongside seven time world champion, and Italian legend, Valentino Rossi for a pre-season MotoGP photo shoot (pictured).
But the JiR Team Scot rider soon overcame any feelings of intimidation by overtaking the Fiat Yamaha superstar for fourth place during the closing stages of his MotoGP debut at Qatar - and Dovi claims he is now comfortable racing against the second most successful rider in 500cc/MotoGP history.
"Before this year it was a dream to fight with Valentino, but now I am in the same class and I want to beat him," Dovizioso told Crash.net
"It is very difficult because he has the best talent, but I beat him in my first race and finished very near to him at Barcelona.
"It is very very nice to fight with Valentino, but also with Stoner and Pedrosa," he added.
After eleven rounds, Dovizioso is the highest placed satellite rider in the MotoGP World Championship standings, holding fifth place with a best race finish of fourth (three times).
The former 125cc world champion and 250cc title contender has his sights set on securing a factory Honda ride for 2009.
Rossi currently leads the title chase by 25 points from reigning champion Casey Stoner.