Engine problems restricted track time for new MotoGP entry Avintia Racing at Sepang last week, during the team's first test since being officially confirmed on the 2012 grid.
The BQR-run squad was one of only two CRT outfits to make the journey to Malaysia, where it called upon no less than three riders - Ivan Silva, Robertino Pietri and Jordi Torres - to help with development of its Kawasaki-powered FTR motorcycle.
In between the engine issues, race rider Silva set the team's best lap time of 2min 8.225sec on the final day, which put the Spaniard 8.6sec from Honda's Casey Stoner
and 3.503sec behind the top CRT bike of Colin Edwards
(Forward Racing Suter-BMW).
Observers were quick to note that Silva's time was slower than the best Moto2 race lap in last October's grand prix, but Avintia team manager Raúl Romero pointed out that the CRTs must do all of their development in public.
"These were difficult yet positive days,” he said. “We experienced a lot of issues but now is the right time to have them so we can solve them before the beginning of the championship.
“We are happy with the way the bike has been going although the engine break-down has caused us to waste a lot of time. Thanks to the effort and the work of the technicians we were able to ride nearly normally on the final day. It was a provisional solution so we could actually take it to the track but we will definitively solve this issue back home.
“It must be taken into account that whereas the factories do their winter job with 'closed doors', we and the CRT work in direct contact with the public and in less time. We ought to be a little patient. In spite of the issues we are satisfied with this test and very motivated to work on and on to prepare for the championship."
Silva confirmed that they had to 'nurse' the engines.
"Training here was very positive although the engine issues have considerably hindered us,” he said. “On the last day we managed to ride quite a lot but always taking extra care with the [engine]. This has caused the times not to be as good as I believe they could have been. In spite of it all we noticed many positive things and in other areas we have plenty of margin to improve."
Of note was that former WSBK and BSB star Gregorio Lavilla was working with the Avintia team at Sepang, in a management role. The team's second race rider is yet to be confirmed, with Yonny Hernandez - not present at Sepang - seeking funding to confirm his seat.
Two of the other CRTs, Aspar and Speed Master, which will run the ART (Aprilia) bike, chose to test at Valencia.