250GP title contender Mika Kallio was the fastest of the three 2009 MotoGP rookies, during his debut for the Alice Team at Valencia on Monday.

The Finn, who crashed out while pushing to catch race leader Marco Simoncelli on the last lap of Sunday's 250cc season finale, indicated that he will have little trouble adapting from a two-stroke to four-stroke motorcycle by setting a best lap time of 1min 34.793sec.

That placed Kallio 15th out of the 18 riders present, but he was only 0.34sec slower than returning grand prix veteran Sete Gibernau - who has completed three previous tests on a Ducati Desmosedici - and only one tenth outside the best lap by former Alice rider Toni Elias in Sunday's race.

"I am very happy after my first day of work on the Ducati," admitted the former KTM rider. "It's a really powerful bike. It's really fun to ride because you have to play with it a lot to use in the best way its characteristics.

"Here, compared to the 250 machinery, every little modification done on the set up you feel it more when you go back on track," he continued. "For this reason these first few days will be very important. I settled well in the new team and I am sure we will continue to work well in the new season."

Whilst Kallio, and fellow 250GP graduate Yuki Takahashi, had never ridden a MotoGP machine before, Kallio's new team-mate Niccolo Canepa spent this season as a Ducati test rider. It was therefore a surprise that the Italian lapped 0.2sec slower than Kallio on his GP8.

"I already knew the Ducati Desmosedici GP8 but is the first time that I concentrate on the set up of the bike," he explained. "In the last season tests we mainly worked on the tyres and we didn't have much time to modify the bike.

"For this reason I mainly focused on understanding the bike's reaction at each modification and I am learning a lot. We have modified the bike a lot many times and tomorrow we will have a lot of work to do again," added the Italian.

The best Alice race lap was a 1min 34.462sec by Sylvain Guintoli, just 0.331sec faster than Kallio.

Meanwhile Takahashi, who has been promoted by Team Scot from 250cc to MotoGP, finished his first day on the ex-Andrea Dovizioso Honda RC212V 18th and last, but just 0.2sec from Canepa.



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