Less than a day after his shock split from Michelin, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa made his Bridgestone debut during Monday's post-race Misano test - and set a head-turning lap time when combining his new rubber with Honda's pneumatic-valve engine.
The Spaniard started testing at 13:30 and completed a total of 81 circulations, divided into short runs of 6-8 laps. The original plan was to finish at 18:00, but the team asked the circuit management for another 15 minutes to complete the full testing schedule. Conditions were once again hot and sunny, with ambient temperature at 34 degrees and track temperature at 42 degrees.
Pedrosa's first task was to adapt the set-up of his familiar spring-valve RCV - with which he finished a distant fourth in Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix - to suit its new tyres, whilst learning the new grip characteristics.
Despite warnings that it could take months to adjust to the new rubber, Pedrosa set a best lap time of 1min 35.555secs on the valve-spring bike - very close to the 1min 35.479secs he'd recorded during the race, when using Michelin rubber.
"Luckily it was sunny today and we were able to ride as we liked, with a slow start and then building up, and that is important," explained Dani. "We tried to find a set up we liked, as the tyres are very different and the handling on the bike changed drastically, it feels like another bike.
"Right now it is difficult to say what it is that I most liked about the new tyres, as I still do not have much experience with them and we have not tried a lot of compounds. I just tried to get used to them, find their limits and to get to know them and their response.
"I tried to find out if they are good when you start off, or whether you have to warm them up more or less time. At the beginning the first thing you aim for is security, to feel comfortable and to find out how the stability is on the bike.
"From then on the most important thing for me is to begin to discover where their limits are and to find out how they react at certain moments," he explained.
Despite his limited knowledge of the new rubber, Pedrosa already believes he can claim a debut Bridgestone victory during the five remaining rounds of the 2008 season.
"Of course, there is a lot of work to do but I am determined to win again this year," he said.