Loris Capirossi feels he and Rizla Suzuki are in a 'reasonable situation' after leaving the second MotoGP pre-season test, at Sepang, in sixth position.
The Italian improved his best lap time by nearly half-a-second compared with the first test, at the same circuit, and got to try a new version of the GSV-R engine.
“Overall the test has been not too bad and I think we are in a reasonable situation at the moment,” said Capirossi. “I used the new engine and it does seem to have some improvement in performance from the one we used at the end of last season. I tried some new traction control strategies and they seem to be a bit better, but we really need to understand how the bike is going to perform in colder conditions, so the test in Qatar will be very important.
“Two days of testing at a time is not enough to try and get everything done and make the changes we need, but it is the same for everyone so we have to try and do our best. I have asked Suzuki if they can make some improvements for the chassis in time for Qatar and they say that they will be able to, so that is positive and it will help us understand how much we have improved since last year,” he added.
Rookie team-mate Alvaro Bautista made bigger personal progress, knocking over two-and-a-half seconds from his fastest time at the previous test on his way to tenth place.
That was despite a small low-slide crash on day one - from which he escaped unhurt - and a very large slide later in the same day which, although there was no crash, forced him to receive treatment to a torn muscle in his left arm.
“I am very happy with this test and it shows that we have improved a big amount since the last test here,” said the young Spaniard. “It was a bit of a strange day [on day two] because I did improve my time, but after nearly crashing yesterday I was in a lot of pain and it made it very difficult to ride, so I was not able to do too many laps.
“It has been a good test though and I am happy with the direction we are going in. I still need to get some parts of the bike improved and I am sure we will make more steps in Qatar. I feel very happy with most things at the moment, the team is very good and we are all working together very well and I am finally starting to ride the bike how I want to!”
The Qatar test takes place on March 18-19.