A lot has been written about Valentino Rossi's performance on his Ducati debut at last month's Valencia test, when the Italian was just 15th fastest out of the 17 riders.

In truth, no-one but Rossi (who is not yet able to speak publically about his new bike) knows how hard he was pushing, or how much his injured shoulder - for which he has since undergone surgery - was bothering him.

Nevertheless, we thought it would be interesting to look back at the previous factory Ducati debuts of Casey Stoner, Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden.

Like Rossi, all three also undertook their first 800cc Desmosedici laps during a post-race test session at Valencia.

This is how each rider got on at their first test and, for reference, what they then went on to achieve during the following race season.

Casey Stoner's debut: Valencia - November 2006
End of test position: 3rd
Time to first place: 0.280sec
Position among Ducati riders: 1st
Time to top Ducati: 0sec (0.07sec quicker than Loris Capirossi)
Results in 2007: 10 wins, 14 podiums, 1st in World Championship

Marco Melandri's debut: Valencia - November 2007
End of test position: 13th
Time to first place: 1.740sec
Position among Ducati riders: 4th
Time to top Ducati: 1.740sec (Stoner)
Results in 2008: 0 wins, 0 podiums, 17th in World Championship

Nicky Hayden's debut: Valencia - November 2008*
Day one test position: 12th
Time to first place: 1.496sec
Position among Ducati riders: 2nd
Time to top Ducati: 1.496sec (Stoner)
Results in 2009: 0 wins, 1 podium, 13th in World Championship

* Day one results used due to rain on day two. Hayden was fastest of seven riders that rode in the wet on day two.

Valentino Rossi's debut: Valencia - November 2010
End of test position: 15th
Time to first place: 1.695sec
Position among Ducati riders: 5th
Time to top Ducati: 1.178sec (Hayden)
Results in 2011: ?



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