Scott Redding continued to build confidence and speed with his new Pramac Ducati during day two of the Phillip Island MotoGP test.
The Englishman set the ninth fastest lap time to sit 0.8s behind leader Maverick Vinales (Suzuki), but was only a fraction behind the fastest Ducati. But it was the rate of progress, without major set-up changes, that Redding found most satisfying.
“I feel really quite comfortable now, we didn't change many things. I'm just learning to adapt my style and improve in different corners, different areas,” Redding said.
“In the last exit we put new tyres for a time attack. I went out and did a '30.0 then '29.9, '29.9. So I'm starting to understand how to go fast straight out of the box, which is good for the race.
“In the end I was happy to improve, improve, improve.”
Those improvements came from both some subtle technical mods, plus his ever increasing knowledge of how to ride the Desmosedici GP15
“We had some tank slappers and bike shaking that we improved with a longer wheelbase, it helped just soften it off a bit. Then we tried a little longer ratio to smoothen the power, which was better but we didn't have enough bottom power out of the slow corners. So we did a few things but not anything major,” the Englishman explained.
“I'm just learning a lot because it's quite different being here with Ducati compared with Honda. I know everyone has new tyres, but a new bike is a big change and so every time I improve it's by quite a lot. I went from '31, then mid '30s, low 30s, then into the '29s.”
All of which is in stark contrast to one year ago, when Redding seemed to be banging his head against a brick wall with the Marc VDS Honda.
“It's strange because it's not like I'm working to figure out the bike, it's just figuring out going faster. For me it was improving corner speed a bit today,” Redding said.
“It's so much nicer to be one step ahead. Last year I couldn't improve with new or used tyres. Now by the time the tyre gets old I'm making the same lap time as when it was new, then we put a new tyre and improve. So I'm building confidence all the time and understanding what the bike is doing.”
Team-mate Danilo Petrucci was 14th fastest.