Andrea Dovizioso's promising pre-season preparations took a knock on the final day of the second Sepang MotoGP test, when the Italian suffered mysterious front-end problems during a race simulation.
Fourth fastest overall - behind fellow factory RCV riders Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Marco Simoncelli - after a soft tyre morning lap, Dovizioso then joined the trio in trying a longer run in the afternoon.
But he was in for an unpleasant surprise.
“The good point is that we are very fast. And to make the first two tests of the year fast like this is a dream. Also when we tried the race simulation we were fast, which confirms we are strong and have the possibility to fight this year,” he began.
“But where I can't be happy is when we tried to do the race simulation and a problem with the front appeared, like in 2010 and some races in 2009.”
After two fast laps, of 2min 1.3sec and 2min 1.4sec, Dovizioso suddenly lost half a second on his next lap - and never got it back.
“After three laps I lost grip in the front in the middle of the corner, closing [folding the front] many times, and after six laps it also happened when braking on an angle.
"After that I couldn't brake hard, as in the previous days here, and I couldn't be fast in the middle of the corner.
“I also needed to use sliding to exit the corner and on this track that is impossible because you finish the tyre. My lap time went slower, and slower and slower.”
Towards the end of the 15-lap race simulation, Dovizioso's pace had dropped to a worst of 2min 2.772sec.
“I am coming out of this test very happy, but this [problem] confirms we are not perfect," he repeated. "It is something very strange and when it happens you can't do anything.
“We need to study exactly what happened. What we changed. For example, today we just put five litres more fuel. I don't want to say that is the cause, because the engineers need to study everything.