The Ducati Xerox Team, which was presented to the international press at the Ducati factory in Bologna last Thursday, saw its 2005 World Superbike campaign get off to a wet start on the first day of a two-day testing session in Valencia, Spain.
Rain fell most of the morning at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and the cold and wet conditions prevented James Toseland and Régis Laconi from putting in much track time on their Ducati 999 F05 factory machines as they start the countdown to the new season, which gets underway in three weeks time in Qatar.
Laconi (45 laps) was the quickest rider throughout the day with a time of 1m41.3s while Toseland (40 laps) recorded a 1m43.6s, but today's times are not significant due to the poor weather and track conditions.
2004 champion Toseland was slightly disappointed with today's testing: "We haven't done many full laps and it's been a disappointing day because I was looking forward to this last test before going to Qatar", he declared. "We haven't been able to do much all day, the track dried up a bit but it was intermediates to slicks and we didn't get a good run at it today.
"Tomorrow if it's dry I'll be OK and will be able to push and do some decent lap times. I just don't want to go away from this test feeling it's a bit of a waste of time because of the weather. I feel ready and the bike's ready but we've still got to test everything. It's just a case of having more time to do some more laps", concluded Toseland.
Ducati Xerox team-mate Laconi was of the same opinion, the Frenchman commenting: "Today it was really hard out there, the cold and the wet didn't allow us to conclude much.
"Towards the end of the day we fitted a 'slick' on the rear but the track still had patches of damp all around and it was impossible to push hard. Let's hope things will improve tomorrow to enable us to leave for Qatar with a better idea of where we are" he added.
Testing at the Spanish track concludes tomorrow, Tuesday.