Scott Redding completed his first real MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia this week.
Having been nursing a wrist injury during last November's debut on the Open class Honda, the 21-year-old Briton was back to full strength as he notched up 163 laps during the three days.
The Moto2 title runner-up set a best lap time of 2m 2.833s on the final day, putting him 21st out of the 27 riders. Redding was 3.3s from the front and 1.3s from the fastest RCV1000R of former world champion Nicky Hayden.
“Today I was able to take another step forward: I am now learning how to slide the bike, to get it turned on exit and, in general, I felt more at ease while riding,” said Redding.
“Unfortunately, the difficult track conditions in the afternoon didn't allow me to improve my lap time as much as I was hoping to but, overall, I'm happy with how my first real test with the team has gone.
“Later this month we will return to Sepang for three more days of testing, during which we will continue to work on suspension set-up and refining the electronic system on the bike, in particular the traction control.”
“With respect to Scott, the balance is positive: we must not forget that it's only the beginning of this adventure,” stated team principal Fausto Gresini. “Three days of testing on a MotoGP bike on a track like Sepang is not easy for a rookie, but Redding has improved day after day without doing mistakes.
“It will take a little more time to see his full potential.”
Commenting on how his former Moto2 rivals Redding and Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha) are looking so far this, reigning champion Marc Marquez said:
"Pretty good. Depending on how someone does in Moto2, you can set out your expectations for them. I expected Pol to be fast and he did well on his first time here in Malaysia with the MotoGP bike.
"Redding looks big onboard the Honda. MotoGP is all about how you finish, not how you start, and I'm sure that during preseason and the season they will both progress. Pol, with a MotoGP factory bike, will be up at the front this year."
The second test will take place from February 26-28.