Andrea Iannone believes he is already making good progress at Ducati but insists he will maintain his patient, methodical approach.
The 23-year-old Italian stepped up into Ducati's newly-established Pramac satellite squad after finishing third in this year's Moto2 championship. He has already tested for the team three times, most recently at Jerez when he finished just over one second down on works rider Nicky Hayden. The American qualified on the front row for the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.
"I'm not looking at laptimes at the moment. However, Nicky started third on the grid [at Jerez] this year, so to be less than a second off his laptime isn't bad," Iannone told Motosprint. "I don't expect to immediately be quicker than him, and much less to be able to beat him in the early races. I need to take small steps at a time."
While Iannone has played himself in, fellow Moto2 graduate – and 2012 champion – Marc Marquez flew at Sepang, lapping 0.6sec faster than Gresini's Alvaro Bautista. Iannone said there was no surprise in the Spaniard's performance, particularly given his own comfort settling at Ducati.
"Honda is perhaps the best bike and he [Marquez] is no slow rider...[there is] no need to be surprised," Iannone said. "I enjoy riding the Desmosedici very much, I don't struggle too much.
"Obviously, when I'll start to get close to good lap times, the bike will become difficult, so everything will have to be more and more sorted. I don't yet have major problems, and I hope to never have any."
Ducati team manager Vittoriano Guareschi praised Iannone's start on the Desmosedici, adding: "Iannone carries on improving, he is acclimatising more and more with the bike.
"That's important, because leaving Moto2 and stepping up to MotoGP is not easy. It's a big leap, so every kilometre he manages to run from now to the start of the season is useful ahead of the first race. [Jerez was] his third test already and he is doing well."