Stefan Bradl believes LCR Honda are already at a higher level than at any stage last year after going fifth fastest on day one at Sepang. The German is running a factory-spec Honda RC213V and focused on electronics and suspension settings today, eventually improving to a 2:01.789 by the end of the day, six tenths down on Dani Pedrosa.

Bradl still sees plenty of areas for improvement, particularly in race trim, but declared himself happy with the start he’d made, as well as his improved physical shape for the new season.

“I am very satisfied about this first day of test. The weather and the asphalt temperature were perfect and we could easily complete out test program. Thanks to my new winter training I feel better fit on these conditions and I found the guys very motivated and even more technically prepared. Actually we started our 2013 campaign on a higher level. Today was mainly a test for myself, to get used to the bike again, recover the feeling, feel the throttle and the brakes after a long time off. We combined a lot of things from Öhlins suspension to swing-arm lengths and rear grip feeling. Doubtless there’s more work to do especially on used tyres: I must improve my riding style on used rubber to match my competitors pace during the races and we will focus on this point in the near future”.