Hodgson's short Desmosedici debut

Published: 09 December 2003

Neil Hodgson had a short first day on the Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP bike.

Damp conditions forced the World Superbike champion to wait until 2:30 before he could take the bike out on track at the Valencia test, and before he had even completed his first lap the V4 blew an oil seal.

It wasn't long before the bike was back out on track but it left little time for the Brit to get used to the 246bhp bike that is twice as quick as a Suzuki GSX-R1000 (See MCN, December 10).

Hodgson got less than three hours out on track and finished the day lapping around 1:36, three seconds down on Honda Rider Sete Gibernau who was also at Valencia for the open test.

Hodgson said: "It is really different from the Ducati 999 I rode in WSB. It accelerates really fast and you have to bang through the gears on the straights. On the superbike I was using four gears on the straight with big gaps in between each shift, but now I'm changing as quick as I can just to keep up.

"On first impressions I'd say it's definitely been no worse than I had expected but unfortunately it hasn't been any better! At the moment it still feels like I am riding someone else's bike - it's that alien."

The weather forecast for the second day of testing is much better and Hodgson is positive he will be able to get more out of the bike with the better conditions.

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