Scott Redding is hopeful that a number of 'small' improvements can push him up the championship order in 2017, and feels that, despite a number of ups and downs, his first season aboard a Ducati can be viewed positively.
The Englishman endured a rollercoaster year with Pramac Ducati – his third in the premier class – that peaked with a fine podium finish at a wet Assen, but also featured costly mechanical failures in Argentina and Le Mans, along with disastrous showings in Jerez and Barcelona, where there was a distinct lack of grip.
Then came the team's decision to decide who would receive a full factory GP17 for this year. At Brno, the team – and riders - agreed the highest point scorer in the remaining eight races would have a similar spec machine to factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso in 2017.
The decision appeared to have a detrimental effect on Redding and team-mate Danilo Petrucci. The Englishman managed just 21 points in those final eight rounds, 25 fewer than the Italian, meaning he will have a year-old machine – Ducati's GP16 – at his disposal for the season ahead. The Briton was 15th in the final championship standings.
Reflecting on the year, Redding feels it was a necessary step after a tough 2015, and feels working more on longer runs, as well as the feeling with Michelin's 17-inch front tyre are key areas for the upcoming winter tests in Malaysia, Australia and Qatar.
“Overall, the season for me, I am happy and I'm not happy,” said Redding, at the close of the 2016 campaign.
“I think people forget the beginning of the season how much s**t I had, not finishing races, and the problem with that is that you don't gain data for the races.
“The problem I had [in the Valencia race] could've been fixed five races ago. We could have had that problem before. But because I was only doing five or six laps without something happening, we didn't get that experience or data. I've had spinning but I've never had this. It also didn't do my confidence that great.
“I was putting more pressure in all the five races I didn't finish more or less in a row. So then it's like 'OK you can't crash', you need to get a result and then they bring this thing in with the  bike and then the first race we have a tyre failure, next race I crash. It's been a hard year but in a way it's been a good year.
“I feel like I've been able to contend with other riders. Last year  I was not in a good place. [In the Valencia race] I tried really hard but it was just down to the bike. Beginning of the race when everything felt good, I could have quite a good pace but then one moment when something starts to happen and I haven't had that problem and I don't know how to fix it. I'm kind of stuck with the bike.
“In the end I would say it's been a good year after where I was mentally last year ['15]. I finished, I'm still smiling and I'm happy at the end of the day. It's been a step forward.
"Last year for me was a step backwards and I think I've got that step again forwards, confidence is a bit better, but I think I need to work hard for the winter for the small details to get prepared more for the new season.
“I think last year, new team, new bike, new tyres you know. There's a lot to try and adapt everything to be right so let's hope next year we've got everything under control.”
Pinpointing those areas in need of improving, Redding added, “Maybe more for me the longer runs. Work on the front tyre. [Working on] Tyre pressure front and rear, trying a little bit. I feel like sometimes I was restricted to what I could do, not do.
“And I mean it's not a big thing but it's small things that could get one or two tenths and like I always say that makes a big difference for the race. Let's just see. Do we need to get into areas I've never tried before with the bike that maybe suit me? Maybe yes, so let's see.”
Redding was eight fastest on day one at the Valencia test then 13th at the close of day two.