Jorge Lorenzo was unable to improve his lap time from Wednesday on the second day of the MotoGP test in Qatar and was at a loss to explain why.
The Movistar Yamaha rider was third fastest at the Losail International Circuit behind Suzuki's Maverick Vinales and Andrea Iannone (Ducati), lapping in 1m 55.535s as he finished only 0.099s behind Vinales.
The reigning world champion feels the harder option rear Michelin is working best on his factory YZR-M1 but is seeking extra grip in the middle of the corners
“For the moment the hardest option is the best for us but we need to work a little bit more to get more grip in the middle of the corner,” said Lorenzo.
“I was one of the riders who didn't improve the lap time and normally everyone improves the lap time, but I hope tomorrow to improve.
“Today has been positive because I could do more laps in a row and a half simulation so in some aspects, not the best but in some others I am satisfied,” he added.
Asked if he had any concerns after day two, Lorenzo said: “No, I'm not worried. It looks like today Ducati have made a little improvement and they have more bikes competitive in the first positions.
“For my part, I don't know why I couldn't improve the lap time and it looks like here, when you put in a new tyre, you don't feel a big difference like in Sepang. So today we tried the soft rear tyre and especially on the left it was not so good, because it was moving so much.
“Unfortunately to make a simulation we didn't think that the soft option was worse, so we didn't prepare the hard option like yesterday and that is why I think that the race simulation was not fantastic,” he added.
“It was 1'56 low, but with the other one [hard] I feel I can be in 1'55 so let's see tomorrow.
“It's important to do more laps because this year will be much harder physically because you have to use all your muscles to adapt to this situation, but I hope to improve a little bit more but today one of the most important goals was to do more laps and this is what I did.”
One of Lorenzo's strengths using the Bridgestone tyres was his ability to set a scorching pace from the opening lap last year, but the Majorcan admits he won't be able to make such a lightning-fast start this season using the Michelin rubber.
“For sure, the first lap shouldn't be so fast like last year but the tyres will be ready for the second one I think and maybe on the first lap you will need to be careful, especially in cold conditions,” he said.
“In terms of safety it's a little bit worse... the Bridgestone was ready to push after the first two or three corners last year so you need to be more concentrated.”
Team-mate Valentino Rossi was the only other rider in the top ten not improve his lap time on Thursday.