Gibernau elated to be back in competitive action.
Finishing eighth in the BMW M Award at Jerez was a significant achievement for MotoGP comeback star Sete Gibernau and his new team Grupo Francisco Hernando.
Despite major worries about his fitness before the Official MotoGP Test, the trip to southern Spain was a success for veteran rider Sete Gibernau as he plots his return to premier class racing.
A reoccurrence of an old shoulder injury in a private training session earlier this year meant the Spanish star missed the second MotoGP test of 2009 in Qatar and before Jerez he was unsure of how much he would be able to ride at the weekend.
Indeed during the course of Saturday’s six hour free practice Gibernau undertook fewer laps than anyone else and ended the day sixteenth on the timesheet. However, he took heart from his 39 turns of the atmospheric Andalusian venue and on Sunday he used all his experience to up the pace.
Having finished the BMW M Award session in eighth place, just 0.471 behind third placed Loris Capirossi, Gibernau was delighted to have returned to competitive riding. He stated, "I’m really excited and I had a lot of fun. Ducati have been really fantastic with us. We went last week to visit them in Italy and they really worked with us. I am very proud of my team, they are helping me so much and I really think we are doing a great job. We have started from zero and it is hard. Right now we can say that we are progressing hard."
Extending his thanks beyond Ducati and his own technical team, Gibernau added, "I really want to thank Grupo Francisco Hernando for all their support as well, as they are doing an excellent job and I want to acknowledge the work of Pablo and Gelete Nieto in particular. They are new to this experience and they are overcoming every obstacle they encounter as they build this project into a real MotoGP team from nothing. In the past I was able to put all my energy into riding but now I am doing a lot more than that, but thanks to my experience I feel I am able to deal with all the challenges."
Asked what he expected for round one, which takes place in less than two weeks at the Losail International Circuit, he replied, "Physically we will struggle, we know that. But, mentally what we achieved in Jerez was great for the whole team. I think once again we are going to have to be very focused on our jobs as a team and myself physically in my preparations for Qatar. We will do our best to take whatever we can from that. To keep enjoying it and working hard is our main goal."