Aprilia's Marco Melandri has plenty of reason for optimism following the three-day Jerez World Superbike test after setting the third fastest time.
The Italian rider, who replaced Eugene Laverty in the factory team, set a best lap in 1m 40.7s to finish behind Kawasaki pair Tom Sykes (1m 39.6s) and Loris Baz (1m 39.9s).
Melandri wasn't entirely happy with his own performance on the RSV4 but overall leaves Jerez feeling positive with his prospects for 2014.
“I'm very happy about this testing period, particularly because I'm still not 100% satisfied with the way I'm riding the bike,” he said.
“We especially need to work on braking coming into slow turns. Over these three days we have identified the things we can discard for the future and my relationship has grown with the team, which is now complete.
“We definitely have a faster race pace than my fast lap time would suggest, but I'm sure that we can get even better by exploring new avenues in terms of the set-up.
“Once the dust settles I'll sit down with the mechanics and sum up the situation so I can hear their opinions as well and from there we will prepare for the 2014 season as best we can.”
Aprilia Racing's Manager, Romano Albesiano, said that while Melandri's race pace was 'satisfactory,' further progress was required when testing resumes following the winter ban in January.
“During these three days of testing we continued fine tuning the feeling between Marco, the RSV4 and the team,” he said.
“We tested various chassis and engine and settings as well as several control strategies, identifying a clear line of development. Our performance level is already quite satisfactory in terms of race pace, but our fast lap still needs some work.
“During the winter break we'll analyse the data we've collected and prepare some more proposals for our riders for when testing resumes in January.”