Colin Edwards played down the big gap between himself and new Forward Racing teammate Aleix Espargaro after a tough start to winter testing in Malaysia.
The experienced Texan was 14th fastest on the new Open class FTR-Yamaha, but he was comfortably overshadowed by an eye-catching display from Spaniard Espargaro.
Espargaro was the revelation of the Sepang showdown and he finished fourth, some 1.7s ahead of double World Superbike champion Edwards.
Only Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were faster than Espargaro, though Edwards said he was not concerned at the gap after he logged a personal best time of 2.01.731 on the FTR-Yamaha, which features a leased YZR-M1 engine, chassis and swingarm package.
Edwards told MCN: "It's been tough. It didn't matter what we did for two-and-a-half days but I couldn't get the bike to turn. It was braking fine to the middle of the corner but I'm five degrees wrong and I’m pushing out instead of going round the corner. We changed the engine brake set-up to get it steering better and that has helped. I'm a sensitive front guy and releasing brakes and trying to get it to turn, the bike was floating away from me at every corner. We messed around with geometry, springs and wheelbase but it stayed the same until we changed the engine braking, which was pushing me in the corner. I'm not stressed because we are just shaking out the cobwebs. We know the bike is good and I just got to figure out how to ride it. I'm a finesse guy. When I'm going fast I look like I'm going slow, so I've got to put some more muscle into this bike."
For more on the Sepang MotoGP test showdown, see the February 12 issue of Motor Cycle News.