Andrea Iannone says significant progress is required with the front end of his Suzuki if he's to bridge the gap to the leading MotoGP riders in Qatar.

Iannone began to experience issues with the front of the GSX-RR from the winter test in Phillip Island and the problem became even more troublesome during the Qatar test, when the Italian felt he was losing the front at every corner.

Iannone, who has made the switch to the Ecstar team after failing to keep his place in the factory Ducati squad, made some headway on the final day of the Qatar test and is hoping for a better feeling in free practice on Thursday.

"I think it is a quite difficult position for me; we started quite well in Sepang but from Phillip Island we have some difficulties during the test," he said.

"We have worked a lot to recover the gap to the first rider and also to adapt my style to the bike, but it is quite difficult at the moment. For sure we believe a lot in our potential and we want a lot to reduce the gap and we will start from now.

"From the tests we don't have a very good feeling and we have worked a lot, but we have not arrived at a very good compromise. The pace is very bad and not very close to the first four or five riders. I hope to improve and arrive and fight on the top."

Reflecting on the final winter test in Qatar, Iannone said he was left feeling perplexed by the front end problems with the Suzuki.

"The last run in the last test was very important for us because we improved a lot, and the most important thing is that the feeling with the bike improved a lot. On the first two days and on the third day, I was losing the front on every corner and this is very strange.

"The problem started in Phillip Island and we worked a lot on this part of the bike for a resolution. But we tried a different way in the last run and improved a lot, so we will start with this set-up."



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