The brand new Ilmor SRT team made a solid, if unspectacular, MotoGP debut at Estoril on Friday - its brand new 800cc X3 outpacing one of the regular 990cc machines as rider Garry McCoy found 1.3secs between the morning and afternoon sessions.

Despite a few minor electrical issues during the morning session, former 500GP winner McCoy completed 47 Friday laps on the 2007-spec X3. The Australian was 19th out of 20 riders in FP1, lapping 4.026secs behind fastest man Valentino Rossi, then repeated that position on the overall Friday timesheets after the conclusion of FP2 - but had cut 1.32secs from his previous best to sit 3.878secs from Friday pace setter Casey Stoner.

"I wasn't too happy after the first session," confessed Ilmor owner Mario Illien. "We had a few small issues with one of the bikes which seemed to have a minor electrical problem. Fortunately we managed fix this in between sessions. I think we have made reasonable progress today but I would really like to see the lap time come down - there is definite room for improvement but on the whole the team is working well and I think we are making a good start."

McCoy outpaced Tech 3 Yamaha's James Ellison in this morning's session, then Pramac d'Antin Ducati's Jose Luis Cardoso this afternoon and overall - an impressive feat considering that the X3 has a near 20 per cent engine capacity disadvantage, resulting in a top speed some 21.1km/h slower than Stoner, although only 2.7km/h behind Cardoso's Dunlop shod machine.

"It was great, everything went the way I hoped it would and I feel very comfortable on the bike," said McCoy. "Obviously there were a couple of little problems to be ironed out initially but that's normal and you would expect that with any team. We made real progress today and I'm sure we will continue to do so over the weekend."

Final free practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix takes place on Saturday morning with qualifying on Saturday afternoon.