After finishing the opening 2016 MotoGP test at Sepang almost one-second clear of the field, some were already predicting a season of total dominance by reigning triple champion Jorge Lorenzo.
But the Spaniard warned he would be keeping his feet firmly on the ground, having learnt from past experience how quickly things change in motorcycle racing. That caution proved prophetic during this week's Phillip Island test.
A tough final day saw Lorenzo crash on the opening lap of a planned race simulation and left ninth on the final timesheets, although a quicker day two time meant he ranked fourth overall.
“We didn't have a lot of time to test in the morning and I did the lap time I set this morning on a rear tyre that already had done 24 laps,” Lorenzo explained. “I've been riding with old tyres all day because we only had one more new tyre. When we finally got a dry track and time to try that last new rear tyre to set a decent lap time, Laverty crashed and I had to cancel that lap.
“I then decided to try a race simulation, but I crashed on the first lap because the track was very cold. There were a lot of crashes during this time of the day. I was very dedicated and braked a little bit too hard for the grip of the front tyre and I crashed, so I ended the test and I'm going home.
“Sepang, for us, has been an unbelievable test. Here things changed completely because the lay-out of the track is the opposite. Let's see what happens in Qatar.”
Like team-mate Valentino Rossi, Lorenzo has decided to start the season using an M1 similar in specification to last year, rather than the more radical 2016 option based on early data with the new Michelin tyres.
“We came here with the imperative to decide on which bike we would start the season with,” said team director Massimo Meregalli. “When the track dried in the afternoon we were able to make a comparison between the two models and chose accordingly. We are confident we will be ready for more testing in Qatar in a two weeks' time."