Niccolo Canepa was naturally disappointed to find himself 19th and last on the Thursday test timesheets at Sepang, and more than a little surprised to be 16km/h slower than Pramac Ducati team-mate Mika Kallio along the two main straights.
“For sure I cannot be satisfied,” said Canepa, who set a best lap time of 2min 5.270sec. “Last time I rode here during testing I had a much better fastest lap time. I think I registered a 2min 3.7sec. We will see where we will be [when the test finishes] on Saturday night.
“Looking at the lap times and at the data, we have noticed that during the first half of the circuit I maintain my team-mate's rhythm, but then I lose too much time in the two final straights and the last turns,” he revealed. “I probably have to improve the way I sit on the bike because my top speed is 16km/h slower than Mika's. This makes a big difference, mostly on this track.”
“We have to understand what slows us down so much,” confirmed team technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini.
After a difficult start, Kallio set a best lap of 2min 4.405sec, good enough for 13th on the timesheet.
“We have encountered some difficulties in the first few hours of work, but in the afternoon we managed to straighten things up and be a bit more competitive,” said the Finn. “We have worked a lot controlling one single detail at the time. This is the way I like to work. At this moment we don't care about lap times, first of all I have to feel that the bike is completely mine. I am really trustful for the next two days of work here in Sepang.”