Andrea Iannone labelled his Friday speed as “a little surprising” after he took his Ducati Desmosedici GP to the second fastest time on day one at the Sachsenring.
With the tight, twisty German track rarely playing into the strengths of Ducati's bikes in the past five years, Iannone was just 0.2s slower than early pace setter Maverick Viñales.
“The bike improves a lot on this track. In the past we had big problems with the traction, the turning,” explained the Italian on Friday. “It's very difficult to turn in this narrow track with the old Ducati. In the last year we improve in this area. For this I think our position reflects this.
“For us it's a really good start at the Sachsenring. It's a little surprising because this track was difficult for us in the past, especially because the feeling with the bike was bad.
“But from this morning in FP1 I understand that we had a very good chance. The performance with the bike was not so bad and it's good. Everything is good. For sure we want to try and improve.
“From the first practice I will try and adjust the electronics for some corners. We will improve and try and work for tomorrow because it's important to improve through the weekend.”
Asked whether Casey Stoner's recent test at Misano in low level grip conditions had brought any benefits to Iannone and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso's set-up at the German Grand Prix, the Italian insisted his machine had remained the same through the season.
“From the first race my bike is completely the same. During all the championship from the beginning I have a very good speed. With the bike also the feeling is not so bad.
“Only in the races we haven't taken the maximum. We've had one or two disasters. I always try my best to start the second part of the championship in a good way. That's my priority at the moment.”