Jorge Lorenzo declared himself much happier with his Yamaha after Thursday practice in Qatar, even though he was only seventh.
The MotoGP champion had been downcast following the end of the Losail test, feeling he had no chance of getting near the front in the season opener, but he was much more optimistic after today's session.
"Today we used a setup from last year here, I feel much more used to it so I am a lot more happy," said Lorenzo. "I think if we improve the setting some more tomorrow we can really step forward.
"With the new chassis I can make faster corner speeds here so the 2011 chassis is working well. I think we will all be closer to the front on Sunday night."
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg agreed that tonight had been an important breakthrough.
"A very good practice for us, even when the position is not so good," he said. "The last test we did a long run and Jorge was not so happy with the setup and was a bit disappointed. Finally the improvement and changes we made today have resulted in a good test and a better feeling for him. This means he can now be consistent, that is his strong point. From now on we will be moving forward."
Lorenzo was slightly outpaced by his new teammate Ben Spies, who also felt there was much more to come.
"Everything went really smooth, we made two major changes to the bike, one was better, one wasn't," said the American. "We spent the whole time on tires we hope are the worst for the track, a front I don't like and a harder rear and we matched our time from the test. I'm happy that we've made the bike a bit better, if we go to what we think is better with the tires we should have a few tenths."