Andrea Dovizioso believes Ducati's GP17 machine already possesses a “really good” base after he put it through its paces on the second day of testing at Sepang.
The Italian worked through a sizable work load on Tuesday, and spent a good deal of time on Ducati's new machine, which he used to set the seventh best time of the day.
As well as showing a fair turn of pace, Dovizioso was also pleased to spend some time behind Maverick Viñales and Marc Marquez, which allowed him to see the potential of Ducati's two main rivals.
“It was really good today,” said the 30-year old. “In four hours it was important to do. We did a lot of work and we needed that time. Today we worked a lot compared to yesterday. We are on schedule now.
“Still, we have something important to test tomorrow but we try already a lot of things. We did the lap time with the new bike and the feeling is good. I was lucky to find Viñales and Marc on the track at the same exit so I have the feedback compared to our competitors. And my feeling was good behind them.
“I'm really happy with the feeling I have with the bike. Still, we have something to improve like last year. But the base is really good. If it doesn't rain tonight then tomorrow the track will be fast and everybody will put on a new tyre. We'll see the lap time we can do.”
On assessing both Marquez and Viñales from his time on track, Dovizioso continued, “Well, I don't know if Marc have a really used tyre so it's difficult to know the real speed but he didn't have a lot of grip and acceleration. He was very good in the braking.
“With Maverick it was more difficult. He was good in every area but I was able to stay with him and play with him. That was really nice.”
Asked to detail how Ducati's all-new 2017 machine differed to the evolution machine he used at Valencia and on Monday at Sepang, Dovizioso remained tight-lipped, while admitting he will probably refrain from conducting a race simulation on Wednesday.
“The new bike doesn't have a new chassis. The chassis is the same. We have different things on the bike. We have something to try on the chassis but the base is the same.
“I don't think [we'll do a race simulation]. It's the first test. It's always important to do but the priority is to try everything we have planned. So before doing a long run it's better to go home with a clear idea. That is more important.”