Valentino Rossi was encouraged with the progress being made by Ducati after a three-day test at Mugello with the team's 2012 machine, the GP12.

After Nicky Hayden had run yesterday, it was the turn of Rossi to try out a number of new developments on the bike and the Italian was pleased with the early impressions he got of the bike.

“It was another positive test,” said Rossi. “We had a number of things to try, including a new step with the frame that I liked. The general feeling was good. I was already happy with the engine the first time I tried it, and now we're also making progress with the rest of the bike. Naturally, we'll have to see when the others try their 2012 bikes, but as far as we're concerned, for the moment we're satisfied; our bike is already good.”

Technical Director Filippo Preziosi  added the stopwatch had shown definite progress from the previous test with the GP12, and is satisfied that the team are moving in the right direction.

“For this test we brought an updated frame for Valentino to try, along with several other interesting things, and I'm pleased to report that we received positive feedback. The lap times were better than at the last test, which is additional confirmation that we're working in the right direction. A big thank-you to Valentino and Nicky, to all the guys on the Team, and Ducati, where they're extremely committed and are working really hard.”

Mugello hosts the Italian Grand Prix in just over two weeks time, and will be the first for Rossi in Ducati colours, and 'The Doctor' believes that this week was just a taste of the atmosphere he can expect on July 1st-3rd.

“Riding at Mugello is always a pleasure. On top of everything else, the conditions today were perfect, so in addition to the good work we carried out—because I did 80 laps—I enjoyed my time riding. Compliments to the circuit for the new additions; the main grandstand is really nice, and of course I hope to see Mugello filled with fans for the race.”