Were factory Ducati riders Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia concerned to see last year's GP21 of Enea Bastianini at the top of the Sepang MotoGP test timesheets?

Not at all, they insisted.

Miller was impressed that the 'brand new' GP22 is already a close match for the well-honed '21 machine, with Bagnaia adding the new bike has an 'incredible' margin to improve but already capable of topping the timesheets had he focussed on a time attack.

"The potential Is there. Big style," Miller said of the GP22, after finishing 14th on the timesheets but only 0.5s from Bastianini. "We were able to improve a considerable amount today. I only pushed on one time attack because I had an issue with the bike.

"Saying that, to go and push on one tyre and do time we did - I’m happy about that.

"The pace was there also. But again, we're working on engine character and the way the electronics are working. We’re quite busy. In between that and trying new parts. It’s been a busy test."

The Australian, who made the test after a recent Covid scare, added: "Yesterday, it felt a bit foreign to me. I put similar inputs in and what I expected wasn’t happening. I had to work on my basic set up and the basic geometry of the bike.

"The way the electronics are and the way the bike is delivering the power is what we’re working on most.

"A big part of it has been throttle connection from engine brake to positive gas. Just that first touch to get it as smooth as possible. That’s been a big recurrent thing. We’ve improved it from where it was in Jerez. We’ve got some work to do still.

"We’ve got a complete new package this year. Last year that bike had been worked on through 2020 and 2021. It was fine tuned by the end of it.

"Starting from the base again you need to build up. Starting from where we are now, to where the bike will be in Qatar, I feel this package will have more potential. Once we’ve ironed out all the bugs. That gives me promise.

"It’s a shame it rained in the afternoon because we needed more track time. But I’m quietly confident with the bike, it's growing on me more and more.

"I think we don’t need to have the best bike at the first test. We need to have the best bike when Qatar rolls around and I think we’re well on our way toward having that."

Asked about Bastianini's new all-time fastest MotoGP lap around Sepang, Miller replied:

"When you look back when I was in Pramac in the past years and Dovi and Danilo or Jorge were here [at the factory team], most of the time we were able to be faster in the Malaysian test.

"You have so much more work to do in the factory seat. You don’t get to throw tyres at it and have all that fun [like] in the satellite team and break lap records. At the end of the day, Enea is on a fantastic package. I know very well how good his package is. Also he’s riding fantastic. To do a 58.1s around here… I thought they’d get into the 57s and that was making me nervous. They didn’t quite crack it.

"They’re riding really good. All those boys are riding good. We’re half a second off. With a base setting on a brand new bike, I think we can be pretty happy with that. Considering how fresh it is I think we’re not too far away."

Title runner-up Bagnaia, who also devoted much of the final day to tuning the electronics for the new engine, was sixth fastest and only 0.134s from Bastianini.

"I'm happy, because we did an incredible step today," said the Italian. "Yesterday we started and everything was working OK with the new bike, but we did a step in the afternoon and it was already a good compromise.

"This morning we did an enormous step… because normally when you do a step, you don't gain one-second of pace with used tyres," he revealed. "So it was a big step.

"The DNA of our bike is to be very good on braking and in entry, and the level is already like the past one, so this is very great. This was something that I was a bit scared of about changing bike, because in the last races of last year I was very comfortable in that area.

"We are working more on the acceleration, because when you put the same electronics on a different engine, for sure you have to adjust everything, and it's not an easy thing, because we worked for two years with the bike with the same electronics, so we have time to improve that area.

"The biggest step today was the acceleration. I started today with the same bike of yesterday, then we stopped a bit to understand what was working worse compared to last year, and we had totally changed a bit the acceleration of our bike, and then we started to be very competitive.

"So it was just a small thing to have done a great step. So I was not expecting to have this big a difference, but I'm happy we are already understanding the way."

Bagnaia's form also caught the attention of his rivals.

"I know that some riders were following me, but it was not a problem. In front yes, because when you have someone in front, you push to keep with them, and it's more easy to misunderstand what the bike gives to you.

"So I was just trying to be alone, but if someone was behind it was not a problem. I saw Marc, I saw Rins, I saw Nakagami trying to follow, but it was not something I was thinking about.

"When I tried the time attack, I didn't do anything special, but it was already my best lap time here. So I'm happy about it. And the most important thing is the pace we did today.

"We know if we do a time attack I can do the fastest time. But we don’t need it. We are just concentrated on being comfortable and constant with the new bike.

"So I'm very happy. I think that if today there was a race, we were fighting for the top positions. So already on the second day with a new bike, it's really great thing. It's really close to the old bike already, so we have to continue in this way."

"The margin is incredible," added the four-time MotoGP race winner. "With last year's bike, you were feeling that you were very fast but it was already at the maximum of its level. This one gives you a great feeling, because you feel that you can improve a lot.

"We still have work to do, but if we continue in this way in Mandalika we can arrive at a really great level and start in Qatar on the top."

Pramac's Jorge Martin was the fastest GP22 rider in third, with team-mate Johann Zarco in ninth. VR46's Luca Marini, who was sidelined by technical problems for much of day one, was eleventh on his new bike.

The Mandalika test, the last chance for official MotoGP track time before Qatar, starts on Friday.