Alvaro Bautista reckons Honda’s electronics are so well advanced that when he made his RC213V 1000cc debut in Sepang last week he felt slower than Suzuki’s 800!
The Spaniard finished ninth with a best time 2.01.384 that left him less than half-a-second from the top six.
The Gresini Honda rider said: “The electronics are absolutely incredible. My feeling on the first two days was that this bike was less powerful than the Suzuki 800.
"But you were always fighting a lot to control the Suzuki, so that probably made it feel like you were going fast. With the Honda everything is easier and the lap time comes easier.”
The test also gave Bautista the chance to familiarise himself with Honda’s famed seamless shift gearbox.
He added: “The gearbox is really impressive. When you are in a long turn and you have to change gear, the bike doesn’t move one millimetre.”
Bautista’s RC213V will run Showa and not Ohlins suspension in 2012.
Showa is an affiliate of Honda, and MCN understands part of the suspension deal helped Gresini secure the seamless shift gearbox for much less than its budget blasting price of £500,000 that satellite teams must pay.