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Gibernau to return to action in Ducati test

Gibernau to return to action in Ducati test

Former World Championship runner-up Sete Gibernau will test the Desmosedici GP8 and GP9 in Mugello next week.

After over 18 months away from riding a MotoGP bike, former World Championship runner-up Sete Gibernau will make his return to action next week with Ducati. The Spaniard will test both the Desmosedici GP8 and GP9 at the Mugello circuit, alongside official test rider Vittoriano Guareschi.

The possibility of Gibernau aiding the Italian factory´s development program was raised last weekend, when the retired rider was present in the paddock at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya. Ducati were receptive to the offer, and will gather data and feedback from Gibernau in a three day run from June 17th-19th.

I´m honoured by this possibility that Ducati has given me,´ said Gibernau. `I´m very excited and I´m in perfect shape, even if it has been a while since I have been on a GP bike. It is just a test but I´ll give my absolute maximum. I can´t wait to enjoy once again the feeling of bringing a MotoGP machine to its limit.´

Gibernau´s last ride with Ducati machinery was in October 2006, at the Portuguese round of his solitary year with the Italian factory. An injury suffered in a collision with current Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner drew his season to a premature end on that occasion, and the veteran announced his retirement soon after.

`We were happy to see Sete so excited at the possibility of riding a MotoGP bike again, and it was this enthusiasm that led to the possibility of organising this test together´, said General Director of Ducati Corse Filippo Preziosi, present in Catalunya to watch the first regular rider tests of the GP9. He also hailed the progression afforded by the addition of Gibernau to the testing lineup.

`The tests we carried out with the GP9 in Catalunya earlier this week gave good feedback and, by having Sete and Vito testing alongside each other, we will be able to carry out a wide range of more intensive tests with our GP8 and GP9 machines.´

Another Ducati test rider, Niccolo Canepa, will next week test Bridgestone tyres at Brno in the Czech Republic. Ducati´s plans for the season involve regular monthly tests, although whether Gibernau´s participation in the program will be repeated further along the line remains to be seen.

MotoGP, 2008, Ducati Marlboro Team

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