Nobuatsu Aoki and his prototype version of the 2008 GSV-R may have been were unable to trouble Suzuki MotoGP regulars Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins in terms of overall lap time during day one at Sepang, but the Japanese enjoyed a clear top speed advantage over his team-mates.

Factory test rider Aoki was 15th overall at the end of Friday practice, 0.7secs behind the fastest 2007 GSV-R ridden by Vermeulen, but the Japanese was 7km/h faster down the main straight.

That put Aoki an impressive fourth out of the 20 riders through the speed-trap and just 3.1km/h behind fastest man Casey Stoner, who reached 304.1km/h on his factory Ducati. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was second fastest (302.2km/h) with Stoner's team-mate Loris Capirossi third (302.0km/h).

"We have brought the 2008 prototype here to race for the first time; the reason is to get the chassis set-up for race conditions," began Aoki. "We have tested a lot in Japan but that is nothing like setting it up at a race weekend. Right now it is working pretty good and as you can see the top-speed is good because the engineers have been working hard on the aerodynamics of the bike, so that helps with the speed. We still have space to improve tomorrow and to try and race with Chris and John over the weekend is our target. We need to get some good settings for tomorrow and see where we can go from there."