Factory Yamaha's Ben Spies improved from fourth to second place on the timesheets during the second day of MotoGP testing at Sepang, but feels he is yet to push the ultimate limit of the new 1000cc M1.
The Texan led the timesheets for much of Wednesday, before Repsol Honda's world champion Casey Stoner edged 0.157sec ahead.
“Yesterday we got up to speed and didn't change anything, then today was more or less about messing with the balance of the bike. Seeing how changing things affects the bike because the 800 and 1000 react differently to changes,” explained Spies.
“Right now it's important to get a good base set-up, a good foundation, to work with during this year. There's still two months before we race but with me, Jorge and Cal up there it seems as though the starting package is going well.
“We haven't really tested any of the new parts that are coming, so we don't really know where the [ultimate] potential of the bike is. But the base potential seems good. We've got a lot of changes still to make, so it's really hard to say where the limit of the bike is.”
The only real weak point with the multi-title winning 800cc M1 was in terms of engine performance, especially for a taller rider like Spies. But from what he has seen at Sepang, Spies doesn't expect to suffer on the straights in 2012.
The Assen winner told Crash.net
: “I followed a couple of bikes on track and didn't lose any time on the straightaway, which was the first time in a few years! Horsepower is not going to be a problem this year I don't think, for anybody. It's mainly managing it, getting it to the ground, not wheelieing and holding on to the thing.”
On his last lap of the day, Spies suddenly shot to the top with what would have been a record breaking 1m 58s lap... until the timing was corrected half an hour later.
“I don't know how that came up. I was laughing about it. I don't think it scared too many people though!” said Spies.
Spies' team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was less than two hundreths slower in third place.