LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl focused on the electronics and suspension of his factory-spec RC213V during the opening day of the Sepang MotoGP test, posting the fifth fastest time overall.
Bradl was two tenths of a second adrift of Yamaha's Valentino Rossi in third with a time of 2m 01.789s and 0.6s off the fastest time set by Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa.
He signed a contract extension direct with Honda late in 2012 and at that juncture it was unclear when he would benefit from factory support.
However, Bradl has been supplied with a factory RC213V for 2013 as he aims to build on a successful debut season in MotoGP.
The German rider said he was satisfied with his first taste of action this year and plans to work on adapting his style to be competitive on used rubber to match the pace of his rivals in the closes stages of races this year.
“I am very satisfied about this first day of test. The weather and the asphalt temperature were perfect and we could easily complete out test programme,” he said.
“Thanks to my new winter training I feel better fit on these conditions and I found the guys very motivated and even more technically prepared.
“Actually we started our 2013 campaign on a higher level. Today was mainly a test for myself, to get used to the bike again, recover the feeling, feel the throttle and the brakes after a long time off.
“We combined a lot if things from Öhlins suspension to swing-arm lengths and rear grip feeling,” he added.
“Doubtless there's more work to do especially on used tyres; I must improve my riding style on used rubber to match my competitors pace during the races and we will focus on this point in the near future.”