Dani Pedrosa faces his biggest test on Bridgestone rubber this weekend as he prepares for the notoriously demanding Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Only Pedrosa's third event using Bridgestone boots, Phillip Island's high-speed layout and bumpy surface makes this one of the hardest events on tyres.
Nonetheless, with the Spaniard showing good progress with the pneumatic-valve Repsol Honda in Japan, he is pleased with the amount of data they have gained in such a short space of time.
As such, Pedrosa has high hopes of building upon his third place finish last time out at Motegi, even if he admits predictions are hard to make when the weather is traditionally turbulent.
“At Motegi I was getting a good feeling from my bike and tyres, and I'm sure my feeling will continue to improve at Phillip Island as we continue to learn more about our new technical package,” he said.
“The big question mark for this race is the weather – it can be quite tough if the weather isn't good. Phillip Island is fast, the asphalt is a little old, a bit bumpy in a few places and the grip is not so great. To go fast it is important to start the lap well and keep it flowing, although you still need an aggressive riding style to go fast here.
“There are a lot of wide and open left-handers through which you use a lot of throttle, so the rear tyre needs to be quite hard on the left side. The track is tough on tyres even when the weather is cold.
“From a machine set-up point of view, you need a stable bike because there are so many high-speed sections. My favourite part of the track is the final section, it's very impressive. The circuit is also good for fans, if the weather is okay, and it's easy to see that the Australians are big fans of motorcycles and motorcycle racing.”