The Liberty Effenbert Ducati team enjoyed a perfect start to its World Superbike Championship endeavour as its rider Jakub Smrz emerged from the three-day test at Portimao with the fastest time overall.

Though the end results were skewed by the fact there was only one day of representative dry mileage, Smrz's S2 effort was enough to keep him and the newly conceived Czech outfit on top for its debut group appearance.

However, while Smrz hailed the performance of the team in the dry, he was also pleased with his pace during the periods of rain, adding that he is feeling more confident in the wet.

"The results were influenced by varying conditions of the circuit where we alternated moments of rain and sunshine," Smrz, who finished 13th overall in 2010, said.

"I was not able to get out of the pits with tyres for dry conditions, as most of the riders, and at the end of the day, when the track was completely wet, I managed to ride three seconds slower than others who were riding with rain tyres. This is a very positive result.

"I am very happy with the first position and the work carried out in wet conditions because I have gained great confidence and we managed to set the bike in an excellent way, getting steadily faster times. I want to congratulate myself with the whole team that had a big part in the positive results of these tests."

It was a sentiment shared with team-mate Sylvain Guintoli, who was similarly quick on his official Ducati Superbike debut.

"This test was good for me for understanding the bike better on dry conditions and also was good to have the opportunity to ride the bike on wet configuration.

"I am looking forward to ride again and get ready for the first race in Australia."



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