Marco Simoncelli has played down the chances of him running out of fuel before the end of grands prix, but admitted he has to run a leaner engine setting in order to make it to the flag.
It emerged in Qatar that the tall Italian was having fuel consumption issues, and Simoncelli acknowledged that this was blunting his Gresini Honda's straightline performance.
"At the end of the race, I arrived with fuel in the tank, but the problem is that to arrive with fuel in the tank I have to go with a more lean fuel setup, so the bike can push less," he said. "My problem is that I'm bigger than the other riders and this messes up the consumption and I have to go with a little more lean setup, and this is not good for the bike's performance on the straight."
Honda has given Simoncelli additional wind tunnel testing time in Japan to try and find bodywork solutions to minimize the disadvantage of his larger build.
"I did some tests and my feeling is a little bit different from the other Honda riders," he said. "I'm bigger, my weight is more and this is the main problem."
Despite this issue, Simoncelli said he was delighted with his start to the 2011 season, especially compared to his tough beginning to 2010, when he was hampered by testing crashes.
"The start of this season was completely different than last year," said Simoncelli, who qualified fourth and finished fifth in Qatar. "I'm happy with my first race in Qatar. I was happy with qualifying also, but before qualifying I didn't expect to do a good rhythm during the race, so I'm happy with this and very confident and motivated for this race at Jerez – I love this track."