Bradley Smith says he is ‘pleased’ with the progress KTM Red Bull made over the three-day MotoGP test at Sepang with its new RC16.
The Forest Hill rider finished in 19th place overall in the Malaysian testing at the end of last month.
Smith was raring to get on the track for the first time in 2018 but a serious crash from team-mate Pol Espargaro on day two overshadowed the weekend.
However, the Austrian outfit said it took ‘plenty of positives’ from the weekend as Smith and other team-mate Mika Kallio were able to test themselves with an extensive testing programme.
Smith clocked his weekend’s best time on day two with a time of 2:00.520 as he trailed team-mates Espargaro (2:00.262) and Kallio (2:00.464).
KTM took a new aerodynamic fairing to Sepang, though Smith only had limited track time with it.
The 27-year-old said: “Obviously it’s a busy test schedule here in Sepang and after Pol’s crash it has meant that myself and Mika have had to work through a lot.
“It’s been a chance for us to evaluate a lot of different things and to give us a direction on what to do.
“On day three the grip was a little less and that means that it’s good conditions for us to test in.
“Usually when the track gets grippy and hot we struggle a little bit so it’s been good to have these conditions.”
He added: “I’m generally quite pleased with what we’ve tested because I think that we’ve got a good base to work with at the Thailand tests in a few days time.”
Espargaro said he felt ‘lucky’ to avoid serious injury when he crashed into a wall at over 250 km/h.
The next testing session will be in Thailand on February 16.
There will a final testing session in Qatar on March 1 before the 2018 season gets off to a racing start at the Losail International Circuit in the same country on March 18.