Jorge Lorenzo has said he is still seeking to adapt all aspects of his riding style to Ducati's GP17 machine, after ending the first day of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island outside the top ten.
Having forgotten a little of what he had learned on the final day of the Sepang test, the Majorcan was gradually coming up to speed once again until a hair-raising moment through the fearsome turn three led him to sit out the final hours.
At that moment Lorenzo was just over half a second off the fastest times of the day, a decent feat considering he had been focussing on improving his braking technique, throttle application and body position while changing direction around the high-speed track.
In the end he slipped to eleventh overall, 1.134s off Marc Marquez's fastest time of the day. But there were positives; namely his overall performance bettering that of the first day at Sepang, as well as fellow GP17 runner Danilo Petrucci's late speed with a new tyre.
“The first run again was difficult,” started Lorenzo, who, like team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, was using one '17 bike with a revamped exhaust position and mystery 'salad box', and one without.
”After two weeks, I had forgotten a little bit what I learned in Sepang, but I picked it up quite soon. Later, in the second, third runs. And I was quite close to the fastest ones, maybe half a second or six tenths.
“The problem was when there were two hours before the finish, we put another new tyre in the rear and it was not performing the same as the other ones. I almost crashed in turn three.
“We decided to stop testing for the day because it was risky and we couldn't improve like others did. We still need to improve a lot in some areas. But [it was] better than the first day in Sepang.
“I still have not arrived at my top level of performance for this bike at the moment. Because we need to improve the bike but firstly, I need to find my limit on this bike, where I still haven't arrived.”
Asked to specify where improvements must be forthcoming, the five-time world champion was unequivocal: “Everything,” he said.
“It's very clear I need to understand the way to stop the bike better still, even if I started much better than the Sepang test. But mainly everything. Also the throttle, the change of direction in fast corners, I need to understand how to take the most profit of it.
“Of course we are the fastest one in the straight, but it's only one straight. In the other smaller straights, it hasn't been easy with the wind, to be honest. The front was moving a lot and for sure this did not help us to be faster.
“But you know that Danilo was much faster with a new tyre, so that means that the limit of the bike is much further, and we need to find how to do at least the same.”
While the loss of Ducati's aerodynamic winglets wasn't keenly felt at Sepang, Lorenzo admitted that their absence was keenly felt at points around the Australian track, notably the infamous turn one.
“With the wings it would be much easier, because now in sixth gear, the front is moving and shaking quite a bit before braking. So we need to try to find a setting which can improve this feeling.
“It's not very comfortable before braking at 340kph, no? It would be better to feel a bit more stability on the front. Let's see tomorrow with another setting if we can improve this feeling.”