Marc VDS Honda rider Scott Redding produced a solid performance during the season opener in Qatar to pilot his RC213V to 13th place.
Redding had gambled late on and hoped big set-up changes would improve his bike’s front-end feeling, but he was unable to close the gap to the frontrunners and missed out on his target of a top 10 finish.
Redding said: “It was a tough race and certainly not where I expected to be finishing. The target was to finish inside the top 10, so I can’t be happy to be 13th. We are making steps in the right direction but not enough to bring us closer to our target.
“Turning is the biggest issue and we need to focus on that because I should be finishing much higher up on the package I am riding. We’ve collected a lot of data and I finished in the points, but it is clear there is plenty of room to improve.”
Team boss Michael Bartholemy was more upbeat. He said: “We can take plenty of positives from a difficult weekend here in Qatar. We are still learning how to find the best set-up for Scott with the Honda and while we are making small progress, we need to improve a lot to be more competitive.
“He scored points but clearly there is a big margin to improve because we need to be fighting close with the other satellite factory bikes. This is a completely new project and we just need time to show our true potential.”