Having fractured his hand in a motocross training accident, which forced him to miss the second Sepang test at the end of February, Jorge Lorenzo returned to MotoGP action at Qatar on Thursday night for the start of the third and final 2010 pre-season outing.
The 2009 title runner-up, who had previously cast doubt on whether he would even be able to ride at the test, was in better shape than he had expected and steadily improved his pace throughout the night.
Hard braking remains an area of difficulty, but the Fiat Yamaha rider finished the night in seventh position out of the 17 riders, with a best lap time 1.436sec behind team-mate and reigning seven time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi.
"It's really good to be back on my bike and actually when I went out on track the first time today my hand felt better than I had expected,” said Lorenzo. “The pain has decreased a lot in the last few days and I've been doing a lot of physio to make sure I'm in the best possible shape for this test.
“I was able to do quite a lot of laps today and my time is not so bad in the end, it's definitely interesting and important to be here and see our level after missing the last test. Dainese have made me a bigger glove and I have some protection on the hand; changing direction is okay, it's just the hard braking areas where I have some problems.
“I need more practice but I think we have made a good start."