MotoGP rookie Mika Kallio claims that the Ducati Desmosedici is nowhere near as wild as he expected, and that moving from a 125 to 250cc machine was more different than his present shift from 250cc to MotoGP.
The former KTM rider, who finished third in the 2008 250cc World Championship, made his MotoGP debut with Alice Ducati on Monday at Valencia - when he impressed by outpacing new team-mate and former Ducati test rider Niccolo Canepa.
On paper there is a massive difference between the Finn's former quarter-litre two-stroke and his new 800cc V4 four-stroke, but - speaking after making his wet weather MotoGP debut on Tuesday at Valencia - Kallio said he has been pleasantly surprised.
"To be honest, from what I have seen on television and from the rumours I heard, I expected [the Desmosedici GP8 to be] a much more aggressive bike, instead I found it really manageable and easy to move at each turn," he said.
"My personal impression is that I found much more difference passing from the 125 to the 250," he added. "The Desmosedici is a really special bike and I can't wait to be able to step on the 2009 version."
However, Kallio might want to bear in mind the words of Andrea Dovizioso, who made the switch from 250 to MotoGP at the end of last year: "With MotoGP, at first it seems easy but then it becomes very challenging!" said the new Repsol Honda rider, as he finished his rookie MotoGP season on Sunday.
Mika finished Tuesday's brief wet weather outing fifth fastest out of the seven riders, his best lap nearly two seconds from the factory GP9 of Nicky Hayden but just 0.358sec behind Canepa.
However, Canepa was keen to point out that he had never ridden a Desmosedici in the wet before either.
"Today it has been a very important day because during the tests done last year I never had the opportunity to ride under the rain," revealed the Italian. "I felt good and I am really trustful. Even if I didn't push at the maximum, I made it to constantly improve and this is the most positive thing. We couldn't ride for many laps today due to the weather conditions, but at least we have the first sensations on dry and wet track."
"These two days have been very important for us," declared Alice Team technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini. "Our two young riders, Mika and Niccolò, had the possibility to get to know the bike's characteristics and the method of work of the team.
"It was the first time Mika tried a MotoGP bike and therefore he had to understand every single detail. Both of them have worked really well and they were able to give us important information at each run. I am very happy, it seems like everything has started in the best way possible."