Former Movistar Honda rider Sete Gibernau made his Ducati Desmosedici debut at Valencia today, where the Spaniard lapped 1.6secs quicker than new team-mate Loris Capirossi during a day of testing interrupted by poor weather.

With the mild sunny climate that characterised Sunday's last race of the 2005 season having given way to cold conditions and drops of rain, the Ducati Marlboro riders - like the many others present - were unable to get close to the kind of lap times recorded over the GP weekend.

Gibernau would set a best of 1min 35.2secs - over 2secs from ex-team-mate Marco Melandri fastest race lap - during his first 32laps as a factory Ducati rider, which were interrupted by rain late in the morning.

Nevertheless, Sete's first impression of his all-new environment was good - and he's increasingly convinced that he has was right to take the brave decision of walking away from a Honda ride.

"Every minute that passes I am more convinced that I made the right decision," declared Sete, who also had the option of riding a satellite spec RCV at Honda Pons. "I know that it was a difficult choice to make but this is a great source of motivation for me. The team is fired up and really wants to do well. The first time is always a step into the unknown but I got on well with all the guys.

"I knew everything was going to be different - the engine, the tubular steel frame instead of aluminium, Bridgestone tyres and Ohlins suspension, and so the feeling on the bike is completely different. I will have to change my style a bit and also the character of the bike to feel entirely at ease with it, but there is a lot of good potential here," he added.

Meanwhile Capirossi, whose fitness is slowly but constantly improving, completed 19 laps with the team's experimental engine-braking system.

The system was used at the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix before being handed to official test-rider Vittoriano Guareschi for further development throughout this year. As a result, Capirossi concentrated on providing feedback for future development rather than outright performance.

"My physical condition and the poor weather certainly didn't help me in this test today" declared Capirossi, who set a best lap time of 1min 36.8secs. "The system has for sure been improved since the first version we used at the start of the year, but the track wasn't in an ideal condition to help us understand exactly the development level of the system. Let's hope the weather improves for tomorrow so we can continue working."

 

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