Second fastest during testing at Losail, Scott Redding had to settle for more modest tenth place in the season-opening Qatar MotoGP race.
The new Pramac Ducati rider dropped one place to 13th after being pushed wide at the start, then climbed steadily up the order to reach his eventual finishing position by lap 7 of 22.
Afterwards the Englishman revealed they had been overly cautious in terms of fuel consumption.
“I got a good start, but then got ran wide by someone in turn one and lost the group already,” Redding began. “[then] we were using a lot of fuel during practice, so we reduced the power for the race - and that cost me.
“I didn't use that much fuel, but I was struggling to hold onto the guys. We should have used more and been able to hold onto them, but we learned something from it.
“After quite a tough weekend, a top ten isn't that bad. I kind of expected more, and I feel like I had the pace to go with Pol and Bradley in front. But with the power reduction, we were struggling to hold them.
“Normally the Yamahas have some more agility [than us], they're better at turning, but I can recover that in the straights - it's the give and take of our bike. But with the mapping I couldn't recover it, they had just a little more corner exit power.
“If we had full power in the beginning - which I switched to halfway through - we could have made a difference, got up the road and settled into a rhythm. If I didn't get run wide in the first corner, that could have changed things too.
“I'm still happy. I gave it all I had, and with the combination of the feeling we had, the crashes, the qualifying – it was hard to get the full potential. When you take that into account, you have to take it on the chin.
“It could have been worse. I could have crashed again and left with no points, I could have finished further back. But instead I got my head down, played with the maps, and got a lot of info for the future.”
Working on the fuel consumption will now be among Redding's top priorities next time out in Argentina.
“I think playing with electronics will help, and even trying to work myself to save a little more fuel, will give me an advantage. I didn't expect that big a difference, so now that it's clear I can work on it.”
Team-mate Danilo Petrucci missed the race after re-damaging his healing hand. The Italian will be replaced by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro until he is fit to return.