One of the big improvers on day one of the second Sepang MotoGP test was Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso, who beat his eighth overall first test pace by over 0.6sec to claim third position - behind only Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner.
“I'm very happy about this first day of testing,” said the Italian, who took his first MotoGP win, but no other podiums, last season. “We have the third fastest time but the most important thing is that we were able to consistently improve our pace. On every session out of the pits we were able to go quickly and this is encouraging.
“Today we changed my position on the bike with very positive results and we also tested some new electronic settings. Tomorrow we want to do more laps to confirm our race pace.
“Of course there is still a lot of work to do as we have to reduce the gap from the first riders but I'm confident, and I'm very happy of the development work done by Honda,” continued Dovi, who needs a further half a second to threaten the two MotoGP champions ahead of him.
By contrast team-mate Dani Pedrosa, usually the top RCV rider, had something of a disjointed day - falling at low speed on his way to seventh.
“We did a lot of work today and ran through quite a few machine adjustments but the bike was moving around quite a lot and we didn't find the solution for that today,” said the Spaniard. “Tomorrow we will focus on increasing our speed in the corners and look to make a few improvements to the settings which should help us.
“I had a slow-speed crash in the hairpin because basically I braked too late but didn't want to run off the track - and the front folded. Testing time is important for us because there's not too much time left before the season starts, so we'll be looking for a productive day tomorrow,” he added.