Sete Gibernau and the newly formed Onde 2000 Ducati MotoGP team completed their first laps together during day one of the Valencia test, on Monday.
The 2003 and 2004 MotoGP runner-up, who retired at the end of the 2006 season, is launching a comeback in 2009, but continues to play down expectation of an instant return to the kind of form that netted nine 500cc/MotoGP wins.
"All the other riders are too fast for me to follow at the moment!" the official MotoGP website quotes the former premier-class runner-up as saying. "They are all pretty sure of what they are doing, and I'm not yet. I'm still in need of learning what I have to do to get this bike fast; I'm not scared, but I've got a lot of respect for what everyone is doing in this championship."
Gibernau, who rode both the GP8 and GP9 during three summer tests for Ducati, set a best lap time of 1min 34.451sec during 52 laps on this year's GP8.
That placed Sete a modest 14th on the 18-rider timesheets, almost 2sec from fastest man Casey Stoner (using the GP9), but the 35-year-old is looking for more than just lap times as the new team - run by Pablo and Gelete Nieto - finds its feet.
"I was so excited to be back again. It's been three years since I last rode at Valencia, which is a big gap, but I enjoyed it a lot," he said "We're good professionals and have put a very good group together, but we need to work at some tests to see how to work best with each other.
"I'm going to bring all my experience and know-how and try to get us up to speed in the fastest possible way," added Gibernau, who rode with the #59 on his bike.