It wasn't long ago that a rookie joining the MotoGP class on a Ducati would have a real fight on their hands to try and tame the powerful Italian machine.

In 2019, for example, Francesco Bagnaia scored just 54 points for 15th in the world championship during his debut season with Pramac Ducati, compared with 192 points and fifth overall by Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo - the rider Bagnaia would challenge for this year's title.

There were no Ducati rookies in 2020, but this season saw three step up from Moto2 onto Desmosedicis: Jorge Martin at Pramac (GP21) plus Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini at Avintia/VR46 (GP19s).

Despite missing four races due to injury, Martin celebrated four poles, four podiums and the first ever victory for a satellite Ducati rider. Bastianini scored two podiums on his way to 102 points with the older spec bike, team-mate Marini claiming 41 points and a best of fifth place.

Having stepped straight from the GP19 to GP21 he will race for Gresini next season during the Jerez test, Bastianini is convinced that Ducati made a major step in calming the machine for 2020 (the same engine being used for 2021 due to the Covid technical freeze).

"This year I was riding the 2019 Ducati and it was so aggressive compared to the 2021," Bastianini said. "The '21 is much softer, you can ride more easy and it's very friendly for the rookie riders. The '19 was more aggressive and for a rookie rider it was so-so!

"In 2020 Ducati modified a lot the bike and the engine has more power, but also your feeling with the throttle is more soft and you can be more relaxed doing the lap time and also during the race, I think.

"Mine [2019] was very aggressive!" he laughed.

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New Gresini team-mate Fabio di Giannantonio certainly impressed during his debut on the GP21, being fastest of the rookies at Jerez.

"Still I don’t know [the bike well] because I did just one test but the first taste of the Ducati MotoGP bike was really good," di Giannantonio confirmed.

"I liked the bike. It seems that it is quite friendly honestly, yes. For sure as Enea said the 2019 bike was more aggressive, you can see easily from the videos of Enea with the bike shaking sometimes.

"For sure it will be first year and for sure I will need some time to learn a lot of things, but the 2021 seems a really good bike that we can use to try to achieve good results."

VR46's Marco Bezzecchi will be the other rookie on the Ducati GP21 next season, with Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez riding for Tech3 KTM and Darryn Binder RNF Yamaha.