Teething problems with the newly created Gresini FTR-Honda CRT machine restricted Michele Pirro's track time during the final pre-season test at Jerez.
The new bike, which only managed a brief shakedown prior to the three-days in Spain, made an impressive start with 17th place out of the 22 bikes present on day one.
Rain then interrupted day two, before Pirro repeated his 17th position early on day three. However subsequent technical problems saw him drop back to 19th by the conclusion of testing.
The Italian's best time from his 52 Sunday laps was 3.4sec from Honda's Casey Stoner and 1.6sec from the top CRT of Randy de Puniet (Aprilia). Overall Pirro was ranked sixth out of the nine CRTs.
“All I can say is that we have a lot to work on!” said the MotoGP rookie and Valencia Moto2 race winner. “Lap by lap I am building my confidence with the bike but I couldn't really make the most of it because we had a problem with the bike and I had to come back into the pit box.
“They are teething problems, but it is frustrating for me because I want to squeeze out everything I feel inside. It is a shame but I know that the guys are working hard, I have complete faith in them and I am sure that we will soon be reaping the rewards of all their effort. We just need to be patient.”
“We still have so much work to do,” echoed team manager Fausto Gresini. “We have made constant improvements with each track outing, which is positive, but we know that the road is long and we have barely started. This is a new project with a lot of potential so we have to tackle each problem calmly and appropriately.”
The above picture shows a Cosworth technician and Ten Kate technician working in the Gresini pits.