Andrea Iannone gave the new Ducati Desmosedici its best day (night) of testing yet, with fourth on the timesheets in Qatar.
The Italian put in 53 Wednesday laps, during which time he evaluated two different frames and sought to learn more about the Michelin tyres.
“All in all today went well, because we finally managed to get a lot of work done and find the answers we were looking for,” declared Iannone, whose best lap was 0.667s from Yamaha pace setter Jorge Lorenzo.
“We were able to evaluate two different types of frame that we had available for my Desmosedici GP and this is very important in view of the first race, but also for the future.
“Today we concentrated on putting in the laps, working calmly: my team is in great form, and we must continue like this in the next two days of testing, but above all I will have to succeed in understanding how to get the best out of the new tyres, because for the moment I can only manage to lap strongly on tyres that have done a lot of laps.”
Iannone was the first of four Desmosedici riders in a row, being followed by Pramac's Scott Redding, Avintia's Hector Barbera with factory team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in seventh.
“Today was once again a productive day, on a track that is very different from Sepang and Phillip Island,” Dovizioso said. “These tyres are a bit strange, in the sense that every time you have to get used to them and you need a bit of time because the more you lap, you quicker you get.
“In fact, I had a tyre that had done 20 laps when I set my quickest time on the last lap of the run, and this confirms that we are still getting used to the characteristics of the Michelins.
“Let's hope that in the next two days we can manage to get through all the tests we have scheduled in order to prepare for the first race of the year in the best possible way.”
Two more nights of remain before the end of 2016 pre-season testing.
Dovizioso and Iannone finished second and third in last year's Qatar race.