2008 MotoGP rookie Alex de Angelis finished day one of the Jerez test a promising fifth fastest out of the 14 riders present.
The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider said he immediately felt comfortable on his new bike - which is the valve-spring factory machine used by team-mate Shinya Nakano during the tail-end of the 2008 season - and now aims to work on matching his set-up to suit the new Bridgestone tyres to be used by all riders next season.
"We have started immediately well and I like the bike a lot compared to the version that we used during the season just finished, both in terms of the engine and chassis," said the San Marinese, whose best lap time was almost two seconds behind factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. "This new bike suits much better my stature, I feel more comfortable and I can therefore exploit the performance better.
"Today, we have worked well on the set-up of the bike with respect to the new tyre regulations, knowing that it is now more important to adapt the bike to the type of tyre construction," he added. "I am sure that we can improve yet further as soon as we find the correct set-up to allow us to exploit the full potential of the entire package: we will need some time to work on this and I hope we can achieve this during tomorrow's session, even if the weather forecast is for rain."
New team-mate and returning Gresini rider Toni Elias will have factory machinery for the 2009 season, but at present is still using a 2008 bike. Elias set the eighth fastest lap time, but was just 0.2sec behind de Angelis.
"I completed a lot of laps with my bike today and I have to say that I am really very pleased with the new situation," said the 2008 Alice Ducati rider. "I am taking things step-by-step; I want to work serenely to avoid making mistakes. We have to work above all on the rear of the bike which still does not allow me to transfer all the horsepower from the Honda RC212V to the track. We have different set-up solutions to try tomorrow but in any case I can see that gradually we are making steps ahead and for that reason tomorrow will be a valuable day for further improvements."