Leon Camier was buoyed by improvements to the electronics on his MV Agusta F4 RR as he continued his off-season testing programme at Jerez.
The Englishman has seen an internal reorganization of the MV squad after it was announced Forward Racing would take over MV Agusta's World Superbike squad after losing its place on the MotoGP grid.
Thus Camier has a new technical team working on the F4 RR and Forward's electronics men have already made a “big difference” to how the machine behaves on track in his eyes.
“It took a bit of time to get the bike feeling half normal,” said Camier after setting a best time of 1m 42.039s on Wednesday. “Some of the new electronics guys that have come in have totally changed the engine braking, throttle connection, torque mapping and acceleration.
“They've made a big difference so it's a real positive. They smoothed it out, calmed it down. We still need to work quite a lot on the chassis. We still need to get the feeling of the chassis back to what we had before. That will just come with time I think.
“They've come in and they have some different ideas. We're just trying to find the balance. Sometimes you go too much with one setting then not enough. Our electronics guy from this year is still here. It's going to take some time.”
Camier had pinpointed the bike's weight, power and chassis stiffness as areas in need of work and is hopeful that a new tank that was set aside to test on Thursday will help with the feeling of the bike on a full fuel load.
“We have a new tank to try tomorrow which does change the bike quite a bit. It stiffens the old chassis and the weight is in a different place. The way it connects to the bike stiffens the centre of the bike a lot. There's no sub-frame or anything.
“I don't think it will make us that much faster but hopefully more consistent from the start of the race until the end. At the moment I'm always strong at the end of the race but the thing doesn't work when they've got fuel in it. The big thing we improved today was the new electronics and that came from my electronics guys.”
When Forward Racing's involvement with MV's World Superbike and Supersport operations was announced, Marco Melandri was a surprise inclusion as a test rider. Camier went on to state the Italian's feedback has been similar to his own.
“His comments were pretty much exactly the same as mine. It's basic problems that we need to fix at the moment. Like less weight, more power. The chassis too but we'll work on that tomorrow with the new tank. And then it's just electronics changes really. His comments were pretty much the same as mine. It's all basic stuff. Direction-wise from that we're both going from the same place.
“It's such a balance because if you change something from the chassis then it changes the electronics. It's going to take time. If the chassis is bang on then the electronics are there to aid it. It's not necessarily the fastest way to set-up a bad bike on electronics.
“If you have a chassis that's working then you have more mechanical grip, the bike works and you can run less electronics. We have to be careful not to be too involved with electronics and then get the chassis working better than anything else.”