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Gibernau brings Ducati test to early conclusion

Gibernau brings Ducati test to early conclusion

Qualifying tyres and a small crash featured in Sete Gibernau´s latest two-day stint at Mugello.

Sete Gibernau drew his latest test at Mugello with the Ducati Desmosedici to an early conclusion on Wednesday, having completed his workload a day ahead of schedule. The former MotoGP World Championship runner-up continued to get back up to speed in his third test at the Italian track since coming to an agreement with the factory, racking up consistent 1´50.5 laps akin to those of the top ten in this year´s race.

The Spaniard´s fastest time of the two-day stint came as part of the latest section of his `MotoGP rehabilitation´ the introduction of qualifying tyres to the proceedings.

`It has been great trying out qualifiers again, after almost two years without,´ said Gibernau after racking up a 1´48.9 fastest lap on Bridgestone´s extra-sticky rubber. Said time would have placed him on the third row of the grid for the June race, ahead of every Ducati rider bar second row starter Casey Stoner.

The veteran was caught out by a crash late on in the midweek session, which did little to give him second thoughts about the merits of his testing return.

` Despite the crash it has been a very positive test. Today I experienced the `thrill´ of a crash, but I´m fine. I have decided together with Filippo(Preziosi) not to ride tomorrow just because we are satisfied already with the good job we did in two days,´ revealed Gibernau, whose last race as a regular MotoGP rider (at Estoril in 2007) ended with an injury-aggravating crash.

`The most important thing is that the feeling with the bike in race trim was perfect almost straight away.´

Whilst the test may have terminated early, one thing that is showing no sign of an immediate conclusion is the rumour surrounding a full-time return to action for the Barcelona native, with reference to `cooperation´ sure to be interpreted in different ways by different people.

`I wish to thank Ducati again for the chance to ride the MotoGP bike once more. We will see together whether and how there will be the chance to continue our cooperation,´ said Gibernau, who revealed after his previous tests that he had `several offers on the table´.

`A special thanks again to Sete who was as usual very helpful´, said Preziosi. `I have been impressed with him getting on the pace straight away and lapping very interesting times both with race and qualifying tyres. We are evaluating together the chance to cooperate again and I hope we will be able to find an option interesting for everybody.´

Continuing the action in Mugello on Thursday are regular test riders Vittoriano Guareschi and Niccola Canepa, who had been riding alongside Gibernau on Tuesday and Wednesday.

MotoGP, 2008, Ducati Marlboro Team

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