Alvaro Bautista took full advantage of a new rear shock absorber from Showa to top the time sheets at Sepang on the Go&Fun Gresini Honda.
Bautista's quickest lap of 2m 00.848s was close to his best lap at the first Sepang test at the beginning of February, when track conditions offered more grip than is presently available at the Malaysian circuit.
“It's been a very positive first day of testing. We worked very well on the rear end, an area that earlier this month gave us some problems, getting excellent results,” said Bautista.
“Showa has developed a new shock absorber somewhat different compared to the one we used so far, which is suitable for our needs.
“In addition to the good lap times, even though the track was worst than the first test, I am especially pleased because my feeling with the new Bridgestone tyres has improved so much and now I feel comfortable when riding,” he added.
“We are on the right path; tomorrow morning we will continue to work hard, focusing also on the front end, while in the afternoon if we get the chance we would like to try a first long run.”