Dani Pedrosa ended the first day of 2011 MotoGP testing much more optimistic about his physical condition, having gone third-quickest.
The final part of Pedrosa's 2010 season was marred by a collarbone injury, and he had to rest for much of the winter to recover after surgery on the problem. But he was pleased to find that he was relatively pain-free in testing at Sepang today.
"I'm pretty happy with how things went today," said Pedrosa. "My priority was to see how I was on the bike after so long without riding and the feeling has been positive. Obviously, I still have less strength under braking and lack of stability in the shoulder with the direction changes, but the cramps have gone and this is very positive for me.
"We have time to continue with my physical training and gain the strength that I need for when the season starts. I honestly didn't expect to do so many laps today."
His new teammate Casey Stoner was quickest of all, and happy that he had continued the strong form he showed on his debut with the works Honda team in Valencia testing last winter.
"At the beginning it took some time to get used to the bike again, but I soon felt comfortable and we had a good day," Stoner said. "We didn't change the setup too much compared to the one we had in Valencia and I am please to see that even if the circuit is different, it still works pretty well here in Sepang. We did some work later on with the engine braking to decrease some chattering and looks like we found a good solution."
Andrea Dovizioso was only eighth on the expanded factory squad's third bike, but felt he had got plenty of useful work done on the 2011 bike.
"I'm happy because this year we are starting from a very good base," said the Italian. "All Honda riders are very competitive so I'm confident and this is an extra boost for me. Today we tested the new engine, it has more power in the low revs and this helps me with the line. We also tested the new chassis and it has some positive and negative points and we need to understand it better.
"We did a comparison work with the 2010 and 2011 fork, the stability in the front has improved but we must rectify some vibrations in the middle of the corner, together with work on the suspension.
"I'm satisfied with the fact that it was easier to find the rhythm and with hard tire I could lap consistently on 2m02.5sec. I lapped at two tenths from the first riders when they were using the same tire choosing not to use the soft tire in the end because we focused on understanding the new machine."