Aleix Espargaro continued to make an impression on proceedings during the opening MotoGP test of the winter at Sepang, the Pramac Ducati man almost getting on terms with factory rider Nicky Hayden.
The Spaniard will start his first full season with the team this year after shining on a handful of outings with Pramac in 2009, the former 250cc rider getting straight back on form by out pacing sophomore team-mate Mika Kallio.
Eleventh fastest after day one, Espargaro rose to ninth by the end of day two to not only put seven tenths between himself and Kallio, but get to within two tenths of Ducati's factory representative Nicky Hayden.
Doubling up as his first outing on a MotoGP bike since having surgery on his arm, Espargaro was pleased with his results over the two days.
"Yesterday we have tried to find a constant pace while today we focused looking for the fast lap,” he said. “I am really pleased on how things have gone. This is only my first winter test in MotoGP and I can only improve in the future.
“The arm on which I had surgery on this past winter doesn't hurt anymore and my physical condition, notwithstanding the heat of these days, seems to be in good conditions. I look forward to come back on track at the end of the month here in Malaysia."
Kallio, meanwhile, wasn't so happy with his 17th position on the timesheets at the end of the second day, although, having been ninth after day one, he attributed it to going the wrong way on set-up rather than a lack of pace.
"Likely this was just a winter test. We tried many changes on the bike set up, but we had some difficulties to improve the situation and for this reason we lost a lot of time working on our bikes in the garage.
“We will have to give our best in the next test so that things can change. We are too far from the firsts and our goal is to remain consistently between top 10 riders in every single session."