This just in from Ducati Corse:
FIRST SHAKEDOWN TEST FOR THE DESMOSEDICI GP7.
Factory test-rider Vittoriano Guareschi carries out the first shakedown test of the Ducati Desmosedici GP7, fitted with a new 800cc engine in compliance with 2007 MotoGP regulations.
Mugello (Italy), Tuesday 2 May 2006 - Alongside the development work being carried out by Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau for the 2006 MotoGP championship, the Desmosedici GP7 machine that will form the basis for the Italian manufacturer's challenge for the 2007 season had its first shakedown test today at Mugello.
Ducati factory test-rider Vittoriano Guareschi, who has steadfastly carried out this role since 2002, took to the track with the new 800cc powered prototype machine, marking the start of the first track test of the Desmosedici GP7 that will continue until Thursday.
The scene for the shakedown test was Ducati's 'home' circuit of Mugello, which was the venue for the debut of the first version of the Desmosedici way back on August 1, 2002.
Filippo Preziosi (Ducati Corse Technical Director)
"Today the new 800cc engine finally moved from the dyno to the track and we are quite satisfied with this debut. We started off by running a check on all the components of the new bike and over the next two days, if we don't encounter any particular problems, we will move on to phase two and begin the first set-up work.
Today is certainly very important, but it is just the start of a long path that we know lies ahead of us. A special thanks goes out to all the guys in Ducati Corse who have worked hard over the past few months to get the bike, with which we will race in next year's championship, out onto the track today, as well as all of our suppliers and technical sponsors, above all Shell Advance, who with their technology, experience and availability are making a decisive contribution to our project".
Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati Corse official test-rider)
"I have to admit that the first lap with the GP7 was really exciting. I am used to testing new solutions on our bikes, but this was different to the others: it is a totally new machine, and so it's even more exciting than usual. It seems just like yesterday that we were testing the Desmosedici GP3 here at Mugello for the first time, but four years have gone by! Today we made another important step forward in the MotoGP project: it is as if our family has given birth to a second 'baby' and the first noises it has made are not bad at all!".