Dani Pedrosa is hopeful that some new ideas in the direction of his set-up will help bridge the gap to the lead riders in the MotoGP class during the second round of 2016.
The Spaniard was bemused at finishing 14 seconds off the race winner at the first race of the new season and, although he has made a 'huge step' from the end of preseason testing, Pedrosa is keen to understand whether a subtle change in direction can pay dividends.
“Obviously I'm looking forward to improving the bike and to try some new ideas,” said the 30-year on Thursday. “Not a big thing but just direction-way. I'm looking forward to seeing if this can help me to be faster.
“[The] Question mark is the track surface and how it is going to be with these tyres, cleaning up and also the compound of these tyres. For the rest the aim is to improve the lap times and be more in front.”
After completing the 22-lap race in Qatar, Pedrosa admitted that he wasn't using racing lines that made the most of the package – and tyres in particular – below him.
“I had a tough race in front when I start but I tried to stick on the rear of the first group but from the first lap I see my corner speed and line was not the good one,” he had said after that race.
“I was not able to match the lap times. The positive part is that the arm work well and also I learn a lot about the bike. But the negative is the result and the distance to the leaders,” he said.
Back in Argentina, he believes that he arrives at the second race in a more confident frame of mind than he did in Qatar.
Still, with Michelin's relative lack of experience around the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit's notoriously abrasive surface could be key in extracting the maximum from his package over the race weekend, during which rain showers are forecast.
“Personally yes [I am more confident]. Again, we don't know about the tyres and how they'll match the surface. There are still question marks on this and we need to be a little bit careful trying to get first the feeling and then see which way we can use the tyres and in which way the tyres are working.
“For the rest, we need to be open minded for the weather.”