Nicky Hayden was frank in his assessment of the performance of his factory Ducati Desmosedici after the first two days of testing at Sepang, declaring: We've got a lot of work to do.
Hayden was ninth quickest on Wednesday ahead of new teammate Andrea Dovizioso and 1.5s slower than the benchmark time achieved by Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda.
Speaking after the conclusion of the second day of the MotoGP test in Malaysia, Hayden said: “Nothing spectacular. It's not like we're going to show up and find three seconds in one day, but we did cut the gap down to 1.5 seconds and find a little better rhythm.
“So a couple of little encouraging things, but it's just tough when you are so far away to look for small stuff.
“We've got a lot of work to do and definitely need to improve in pretty much all areas, so hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit better and when we come back in two weeks maybe we'll have something that can help us do a big step.”
One positive for the former MotoGP world champion was the Ducati's stability under heavy braking at Sepang plus the Desmosedici's new chassis.
“Straight line braking is good. We're stable on the brakes, but from corner entry we need to improve the turning and acceleration,” he said.
“I like the different chassis, which I've been using since the post-race test at Valencia.
“Lap times were almost the same on both, but I feel more comfortable on it.
“I've tried the new Ohlins forks. They are mainly just lighter, which can make a difference when moving the bike from side to side,” added Hayden.
“There are some internal differences as well, but we haven't tried that yet.”