After six weeks of recuperation from a broken collarbone, World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss got straight back into the swing of it on Tuesday by racking up 77 laps and knocking 0.5s of the outright lap record.
The test at Valencia in Spain was the latest track outing for the new 2002-spec Ducati 998R that Bayliss, team-mate Ruben Xaus and third factory Ducati rider Ben Bostrom will ride.
The bike has a revised engine with an increased bore and shorter stroke that is claimed to produce 186bhp at 13,000rpm.
Bayliss spent the day in warm weather trying to find a new race set-up he was happy with taking a best time of 1:35.61s – 0.5s quicker than the lap record set by 500GP star Alex Criville in 2000.
Bayliss said: " Today has felt a bit like a comeback really because it has been so long since I rode a bike and I loved it.
" I have only ridden this new bike once before and it has come on a long way since then – much nicer to ride fast even though my shoulder has been sore all day.
" The shoulder wasn’t really a problem unless the bike started to tankslap out of some of the turns and over the crests under power. "
Team-mate Ruben Xaus was also present at the test riding an identical bike. Xaus logged a time of 1:36.05s.
All times are provided by the Ducati team and the test will run for another day.
We’ll be adding more news and pictures as the week progresses.