Scott Redding is confident he is better placed than a year ago to deal with the demands of a MotoGP season, as changes to team personnel saw him leaving Valencia in a positive frame of mind.
The Englishman sampled Ducati's Desmosedici GP16 for the first time on Tuesday before setting the 13th fastest time of the two-day post-season test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
2016 crew chief Giacomo Guidotti has left for Repsol Honda, and Christian Pupulin steps in. Redding feels this relationship, coupled with spending a second year in the same team should boost his chances going forward.
“I feel already we have a better set-up than last year,” said the Englishman. “Also with the new crew chief, the way he works, it's quite good. At the end of the test day today we sat down to speak. [We asked] 'Where can we improve with the mechanics? Where can I improve? Where can he improve? How can we adapt to this session? How are we going to plan?'
“There's much more structure going forwards into the winter to prepare myself. So no, to be honest, I'm confident. We just need to work in the same direction. We're not panicking, we're just working where we need to.
“It's always nice to be there a second year. You know what's happening and what to expect. We have data with this bike from them last year which we can work on. We're in a better position to do it next year.”
On feelings aboard the GP16, Redding continued, “It was not bad to be honest. We worked a lot with used tyres, which was good. We managed to gain some time on the used tyres with the new bike, which I'm quite happy with.
“I didn't really improve the one off lap time but I struggled a bit with the tyre allocation we had. We didn't have enough of the one I felt best with so I didn't have the right combination to improve the lap time.
“We wanted to try stuff with the tyre life. The one off lap time wasn't the best. I think I could have been in the 1m 30.7s, which wouldn't have been too bad.
“Other than that the rest of the test has been quite OK. At the end of the test after a long weekend you start getting a little bit, I wouldn't say fatigued, but in too much of a rhythm.
“It's quite hard to break that. It will be nice to have a little break then go to a circuit with a bit more motivation and trying to improve with the new bike.
“It's been quite tough to try and adapt my style to the new bike. At the end I'm quite happy with the changes we've made and I'm looking forward to seeing how it works at a new circuit."
A machine that was developed with aerodynamic winglets, Redding had commented on Tuesday of the GP16's propensity to wheelie, even in fifth gear. On whether he had remedied this issue a day later, he added, “A little bit with the lean angle.
“I had the same lean angle as some of the guys but they're still pulling away a little bit. We put the bottom winglets on because it was f**king annoying. You see I'm faster through the first two sectors than the factory guys but I lose out of turn eleven and the last corner, a couple of tenths.
“We felt the bottom winglets and it was a bit of an improvement. It's hard because the bike wasn't designed without the winglets. We'll see in Jerez, a circuit where you don't have so much wheelie, if we can improve it a little bit.
“I think there will be an evolution fairing without wings that will help a little bit. So I need to keep my eye open to keep my hands on them because it is quite a big difference. Let's see what they do and if they make a difference.”
Redding and the Pramac Ducati squad are scheduled to test at Jerez next week.