Casey Stoner finished his first MotoGP test in Repsol Honda colours second on the timesheet, despite a final day fall, at Sepang in Malaysia.
The Australian was 'annoyed' but unharmed after he lost the front at Turn 12 in the opening two hours, and was able to make good progress despite the interruption.
“Today was definitely the best day, even though we had a crash,” said Stoner. “It was a big crash after a small mistake. I just hit the white line and lost the front. I was a bit annoyed about that.”
The former Ducati rider finished just six hundredths behind fastest man Marco Simoncelli, having spent much of the day making comparisons between two different 2011 chassis options.
“In general we made some nice steps forward. We tried mainly just back-to-back all the time with the softer and harder chassis, trying to get a good feeling for them,” confirmed the Australian. “We still didn't change any set-up, just tried a few different things with engine brake.”
Stoner prefers the stiffer chassis overall, and it is easier to change direction, but the softer one also has strong points and was used to set his best lap time today (after the stiffer one was 'lost' in the crash).
After lunch Stoner also tested some new traction control software which helped improve corner speed.
“We managed to make the bike work a lot better with used tyres,” he said. “We used a different traction control system that, when we really started to spin, it caught you a little earlier. This allowed us to keep the corner speed.”
The top six riders were all within half a second on day three, but Stoner isn't too interested in his rivals at present.
“I'm concentrating on myself at the moment," he said. "For sure at the end of each day we save one soft tyre just to try and do a lap time, but we need to wait for the race meeting to see how everyone is doing.
“I don't want to follow anyone and people are testing so many different things anyway, so you don't know what they are doing or if they are happy with the set-up or not.
“We haven't touched the settings at all on our bike," he repeated. "At the next test maybe we can start to try and improve how the bike rides, if we can. And then we will test the forks and shock.”