Hector Barbera, making the switch from satellite Ducati to FTR-Kawasaki CRT machinery for the 2013 MotoGP
season, made big gains during the second Sepang pre-season test.
19th and 4.1s from the front at the opening test, Barbera used chassis and electronic developments to close to 2.8s from the top by the end of the second test.
The highest placed rider using the standard ECU system, Barbera's best time was just a few tenths shy of CRT leading Aspar ART riders Randy de Puniet
and Aleix Espargaro.
“I am very happy because we have improved noticeably and we have greatly solved the chattering problem,” said Barbera. “It has not disappeared entirely, but in a large extent, and that allows me to ride better and more comfortable.
“During the first two days I rode with the chassis of the previous test and today I did it with the new one and, although it is not very different, it incorporates little changes that I have liked.
“We have also made progress with electronics, we begin to understand it better and we are on the right way.
“The general assessment is very positive. We have ridden 1.4s faster than in the previous test, we are 0.3s slower than the best CRT and, above all, we have managed to have a very good pace with used tyres.
“The truth is that I have very good feelings before the last test in Jerez.”
Team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama, riding with a healing left wrist after suffering training fractures during a motocross accident in January, set a best lap 0.8s from Barbera. The Japanese is yet to cure his chatter issues.
“We have improved and I am encouraged with the result but we still have too much chattering to be faster and to be able to ride with more confidence. This has been the biggest problem I have had these days.
“Although it is not perfect, the hand has bothered me much less and in Qatar [for the first race] I believe that I will be back to full fitness.
“I have tried the new chassis in this last session and I liked but I will have more information in Jerez. We have spent a lot of time doing tests and different settings and, although we have not found the definite way, we have always managed to have better pace than in the previous test.
“Increasingly we are closer to the fastest riders of the category and that means that we are on the right lines.”