Jack Miller was all smiles after his first day on the Marc VDS Honda as the Aussie lauded the consistency of his lap times during the official MotoGP test at Valencia in Spain.
Miller, who was riding the ex-Scott Redding RC213V fitted with the 2015 factory software and Michelin tyres, was 11th quickest with a time in 1m 32.594s, which left him 1.043s behind the Repsol Honda of Marc Marquez.
However, the 20-year-old was more satisfied with the uniformity of his lap times as he rattled off a succession of 1m 32s laps.
“You can tell form the smile on my face this evening – it was a really enjoyable day! We had a little crash at the end, but that was more to do with becoming adapted to the different riding style of the Michelin,” Miller said.
“We don't have a second bike yet, so we weren't ready to go out right away again, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. We have plenty of new tyres to use to try and put down a lap time.
“We've got a night to go through half a day's worth of data too, to try and find a good setting to make it go faster.
“The electronics made this bike 100 per cent easier to ride than the Open Honda. We're three tenths slower than our fastest lap time of the whole weekend!” he added.
“And yeah we did this time, but every lap was a 32, 32, 32. I've never had consistency like that all season – everything was so much easier to manage.”
Miller, who will have to change back to the 2016 ECU – although it is uncertain if he will use the new system at this test – says returning to the new software will be 'like giving a kid candy and taking it away again'.
“I hear the other guys down there are having a problem with the 2016 electronics, but we've been on that shit all year, and we know what it's like,” he said.
“Nobody believed Nicky [Hayden], Eugene [Laverty] or I when we said it was not fucking working, and now look at it. Coming back to it is like giving candy to a kid to take it away again and watching him cry, but that's how it is.
“The way you can manage is great [with the 2015 ECU] – it cuts out cylinders on the corner exits and means you're not out of the seat fighting the bike, especially coming out of turn two and three,” Miller added.
“Now that everything is smoother, you can concentrate on the smaller things; concentrate on the fine details and polishing out what you're doing wrong.”
Miller is having to adapt his riding style to suit the Michelin tyres but is satisfied by the performance of the new rubber, particularly with the rear.
“The Michelins are a good tyre, and it's been a really good day working with them, but you pick up old habits riding on the Bridgestones that don't work on the Michelins – from the front,” he said.
“The rear is a really good tyre coming form the Bridgestones, and the front is also very, very good – but good in another way from the Michelin. The old one was the way you could brake with so much pressure on an angle, but on this one it's good in another direction – so you have to adjust the bike and my riding style.
“It's not so much that you have to trail the brake less; you still have to do it the same, but you can't use as much force on an angle. You have to keep it upright, release it a little more as you turn in and if you don't, you lose the front, as many people, myself included, realised today,” he added.
“It's exactly like how you rode a 250GP bike – I never rode one, but from what I know and assume it was the same. We had a small crash today, with a lot of laps on the tyres and just as we were getting ready to put in new ones – and it just got away from us.”