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Dovizioso: A really exciting day.

2009 Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest of the new signings during the opening day of the Valencia MotoGP test.

Less than 24 hours after securing fifth in his rookie premier-class season, for the satellite JiR Team Scot Honda outfit, Dovi got his first taste of life as a factory rider.

Both Dovizioso and team-mate Dani Pedrosa rode 2008 RC212V machines fitted with new single-tyre spec Bridgestones. Dovizioso's bikes also featured revised handlebar/footrest positions to suit his stature.

The Italian, also making his pneumatic-valve debut, set the eighth fastest lap time of the 18 riders present, 1.2sec from Casey Stoner and one second behind Pedrosa.

"It's been a really exciting day," smiled Dovi. "The bike feels good, it feels like an evolution of my 2008 bike, like a step forward, which is what I expected, so I'm happy. Compared to my 08 bike, the factory bike has many positive points, in particular the engine is both smoother and more powerful. Right from the start the stability at the front was very good.

"With the electronics, I need more time to learn and understand them, especially traction control as there are so many settings. I also tried Bridgestone tyres for the first time today, they seem fine, but I need to slightly adapt my riding style to get the best from them," he revealed. "All in all it was a positive first day but I still have a lot to learn. With my new team we start working step by step and I like this system."

The next fastest rider to change teams was Marco Melandri, who set the tenth fastest time on his Kawasaki debut.

Pedrosa meanwhile focused on evaluating a new engine/exhaust spec with improved smoothness and rideability. The Spaniard, second in Sunday's season-ending grand prix, was again second to Stoner during day one of testing.

"Today we had perfect conditions for testing, it was sunny and the asphalt had good grip after yesterday's race," stated Dani. "We tested some new engine specs in order to improve the character of the engine and then we focused on testing the new tyres.

"At the beginning the feeling was not so good but working with the mechanics, we made some changes and the feeling improved considerably. It's clear that next year the rider and the bike will need to adapt to the tyres.

"Today the track conditions were perfect so we had no problems with the limited number of tyres, we will need to check how this tyre system works with indifferent conditions," he warned, referring to the drastically reduced tyre options now available.

Testing continues at Valencia on Tuesday.


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