Winner of four MotoGP races in 2022, Bastianini cemented himself as the second best Ducati rider throughout the season, while also pushing eventual champion Francesco Bagnaia for victory on several occasions. 

Now team-mate to the current world champion, Bastianini immediately looked at home in the factory red during Tuesday’s post-season test in Valencia. 

A strong day for Bastianini ended with him finishing tenth after testing new aero parts, while also working on the set-up of his Desmosedici. 

The Italian did suffer a late fall, however, Bastianini ended his time on track happy with the performance shown.

"In the morning it was amazing," said Bastianini. "I was really excited to start the day. In the end, it has been like my expectation. I have spoken a lot with the guys from the factory [team] and we have done a great job I think. I’m really happy about this day. 

"The bike is good compared to my [previous] one. It was a little bit more stable on the rear. Also on the [corner] entry it’s a little bit better and after that we have also tried new parts on the aero and the set-up."

After Aleix Espargaro ran into technical issues during the Valencia MotoGP, Bastianini was able to secure a brilliant third place finish in the championship. Bastianini finished the Grand Prix in eighth place after starting 13th on the grid. 

Part of the satellite Avintia Ducati team in 2021 and Gresini in 2022, Bastianini’s move to the factory team will bring a different type of pressure as expectation will be much higher. 

But with that said, the former Moto2 champion is not feeling any added stress at this stage.

"No, I didn't feel this today. Not a lot of pressure," stated Bastianini. "At the start I saw a lot of people with me [in the garage] but it’s not been a problem for me. 

"It’s really easy and it’s good to compare my feeling with Pecco to understand which part of the bike is better or not. On the last run I crashed but it’s okay."

With Bastianini expected to be a contender right away, a key storyline to follow in 2023 will be his relationship with Bagnaia. 

On more than one occasion Bastianini was willing to fight Bagnaia hard in race situations this season, despite the latter attempting to win Ducati’s first world title since 2007. So it’s fair to say fireworks could be had between the pair if they are involved in a title battle next year.