Suzuki MotoGP team-mates Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro are hoping to get the green light to race the latest 'type 2' seamless gearbox next weekend in Qatar.
After using a standard gearbox during the factory's 2015 return, the pair ran the first version of the seamless technology - upshift only - during much of winter testing.
Then, at the final test in Qatar. they also got to try the 'type 2' version which, like the gearboxes of their MotoGP rivals, is seamless for both upshifts and downshifts.
As he prepared to leave Losail Vinales, fastest in the Phillip Island test and then third in the Qatar test, said:
“In the last two runs I also tested the full seamless for the first time and this is another big improvement. I couldn't try a time attack with it but my feeling is that it has a lot of potential, we need to work on it and I hope we can use it in the race.
“We have worked a lot this winter, the Suzuki Factory delivered us huge improvements and the results so far are positive. We look positively towards the race, where I hope I'll be able to make even further steps forward.”
Espargaro, a more modest 15th fastest at the final test, put in more track time with the 'type 2', using it on both the second and third nights.
“We kept working with the gearbox, we tried something different on the seamless 'type 2', something to make the seamless [shift] a little bit smoother, and softer, because yesterday it was quite aggressive. It worked, so I'm happy about the performance,” revealed the Spaniard.
“The general feeling is that the engine is much better. I think we have to work a little bit on the aerodynamics, because my top speed compared to Maverick's top speed is too different. It means that the power is much better, but aerodynamics we need to work.”