Having finished the Jerez test fastest of all, with a qualifying tyre, Nicky Hayden says Repsol Honda has been 'brought back to reality' after a tough final pre-season outing at Qatar.

The inaugural night test, in preparation for the special season-opener on March 9, saw Hayden twelfth on day one and seventh on day two - when even qualifying tyres, Hayden's speciality this winter, couldn't haul the factory-spec RC212V nearer than 1.1secs behind the soft tyre effort of Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo.

Even more worrying was that two satellite Honda riders, Randy de Puniet and Andrea Dovizioso, were once again able to fend off both factory machines. And, like Hayden and team-mate Dani Pedrosa, de Puniet and rookie Dovizioso also use Michelin tyres.

"I've enjoyed riding at night but conditions are not easy here at night - there's the wind and the track temperature changes a lot," began Nicky. "We tried race tyres tonight and at the end we tried a couple of qualifiers, we went quicker but we're not where we need to be. We left Jerez feeling really confident but we've been brought back to reality.

"Nonetheless I'm happy to go racing after so much testing, that's exciting," continued the American. "Now we've got some work to do, we need to try to come up with something to make an improvement. I think we can get the bike to hold the line better and finish the corner better.

"Now Honda have got a couple of days to think about stuff and I've got some time to go over some lines, so hopefully come Friday night we'll be closer to where we need to be," he concluded.

Pedrosa's right-hand injury is slightly better than it was at Jerez two weeks ago, allowing him to spend more time on the track, but the Spaniard certainly won't be at full strength for next weekend's season-opening GP.

The 2007 MotoGP World Championship runner-up finished the Qatar test in 13th position out of the 18 riders, and slightly mystified by the problems experienced.

"It's been quite a difficult two days here," admitted Dani. "So far we haven't found the solution to the problems we are having. We've tried many different things but at the moment we aren't getting the results we were expecting. The main problem is grip.

"The tyres are fine, you can see that because the guys with the 2007 Hondas and Michelins are fast, so it's something else," he explained. "Maybe riding at night has some influence on this, because there's a lot of humidity, but that's the same for everybody."

All six Honda riders are still using a spring-valve engine design, with the factory team's new-for-2008 pneumatic-valve powerplant not yet performing at a high enough level to race.