Spanish veteran Sete Gibernau stepped out of retirement today to begin his 2009 MotoGP preparations with a debut for the new Onde 2000 Ducati squad in Valencia.
Gibernau, who retired at the end of the 2006 campaign with nine premier class wins, took to the circuit after 1pm this afternoon under clear and blue skies.
The former Gresini Honda rider completed initial runs totalling nine laps, clocking a best time of 1.36.258 on his eighth lap.
A Ducati currently tops the timesheets, not surprisingly in the hands of former world champion Casey Stoner, The Aussie has made an impressive start to testing the new carbon fibre chassis GP9 machine, logging a best lap of 1.32.464.
That’s 0.1s faster than he managed on his way to dominating yesterday’s 30-lap Valencia circuit, even though he’s supposed to be getting his first assessment on the 2009 spec tyres that will be used for the new single tyre rule next season.
See Wednesday’s MCN for Gibernau’s thoughts on his shock return.