Ducati has thanked its rival factory team for allowing Valentino Rossi to ride the Italian manufacturer's motorcycles in the MotoGP post-season test at Valencia.
"The truth is we had expected this solution, considering the fine relationship we have had with Yamaha over the past months and in particular with Lin Jarvis, who in any case I want to thank," Ducati's MotoGP project manager Alessandro Cicognani told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Nowadays, we don't have unlimited testing like in the past, so it seems fairer for everyone to start in the same conditions for a new adventure."
Rossi, leaving Yamaha after a seven-year stint, was given special dispensation to test with his new team as he will be under contract for the days of the test. Ducati team manager Vittoriano Guareschi said the Italian squad had been preparing as if Rossi would be able to test, even before the official announcement.
"We have carried on working with the thought that the test would go ahead," said Guareschi. "So we have been preparing the material for Valencia.
"The 2011 bike won't be much different from this year's. I haven't tried it, but Franco Battaini ran it at Mugello last week and did well. How much has it improved? Let's just say that there's been important progress. Our philosophy always aims at speed performance, a bit like Honda.
"Both Rossi and Hayden, as we did last year with the GP10, will have the chance of choosing the engine they prefer. We have prepared different versions of our engine. How many? Let's say two...well, there are actually three."