Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso used the first day of the Phillip Island MotoGP test to finalise the chassis set-up of his Desmosedici GP17.
The Italian is edging closer to a base setting ahead of the opening race of the World Championship in Qatar in March, but admits there is still much work to be done before a final decision is made.
“I'm quite happy with the feeling with the bike and we spent the day to make a comparison with the chassis, we tried a few things; we tried to decide the final set-up of the chassis,” said Dovizioso, who was eighth fastest after a lap in 1m 30.410s, which put him ahead of new team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who was 11th quickest (1m 30.631s).
“Tomorrow we will try a different balance of the bike, it is already the second test and we will try to have a base to go to Qatar. For sure there is still a lot of work to do, but for the first day, I have a good feeling.”
Dovizioso said Phillip Island offers the chance to compare the chassis under vastly different conditions following on from Sepang, where the weather and circuit characteristics present other challenges.
“We have a different material on the chassis and we have to try all the material we have before we take a decision and it depends on how we go in the test tomorrow.
“We have a different spec and we have to compare on a different track. It is important to compare from Malaysia, where it is very hot and there is a lot of humidity and the layout of the track is completely different to here; it is very important to have feedback from both tracks,” he said.
“It's not easy [base setting]; for sure Qatar is even more different and is an unusual track, but the two tests we have in pre-season are the same for everybody and we have to find our base. Everybody is missing something but we try to have more stability in the bike, especially in this track where there is a lot of wind, so for sure we have margins to improve.”