Marco Simoncelli wasn't able to solve the main problem he's been having in adapting to a Honda RC212V MotoGP machine, but the new Gresini rider was still satisfied with the outcome of his rookie test at Sepang.
Joined by former 250cc title rival and fellow 2010 premier-class rookie Hiroshi Aoyama, Simoncelli was second best to the Japanese over all three days.
The Italian eventually finishing 0.9sec behind the Interwetten rider - although Simoncelli has repeatedly stressed that he's not searching for lap times.
“It's been three long days. I did 60 laps today, over 300 kilometres, and also a race simulation, so I'm quite tired now,” Simoncelli told Crash.net
as the Gresini team packed up their possessions.
“It was unlucky that we couldn't solve the problem we have today, but I'm also quite happy because I stayed on the bike for such a long time and understood more about it.”
What is the problem you were trying to solve?
“I have a problem when I brake and then all along the corner, when I lean, I lose grip with the rear and it is very difficult to open the gas,” he explained.
“Anyway I am happy because during the race simulation, I wasn't so fast, but I was very consistent. After 15 or 16 laps I did the same time as on the first flying lap. This is a good sign for me.”
Aoyama found the race simulation 'very different' to doing a short run, due to the way the electronics need to be changed to match the decrease in fuel and tyre grip.
“Yes it is different,” confirmed Marco. “I changed three maps for the traction control during my long run. So I am getting used to using the electronics. The electronics are very complicated but I am starting to understand how they work step-by-step.
“My fast lap today was 2min 3.2sec, half a second under yesterday, and I'm quite happy with that,” he smiled.
The next time Simoncelli rides a MotoGP machine it will be his 2010 race bike, back at Sepang, in early February.
“Next time I will have to start with a standard set-up on the new bike and go from there. I think the new bike will be a lot different, especially due to the new [Ohlins] suspension [see separate story].”