Aprilia MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl says he had a "good feeling" with the brand-new RS-GP on its race debut in Qatar prior to crashing out at mid-distance.
The German rider was running just inside the points in 15th place during Sunday's season-opener before his exit on Lap 11 of 22, caused by a tumble at Turn 15.
His teammate Alvaro Bautista went on to score three points with a 13th place finish, and while Bradl was left empty-handed, he said the pace he had been running beforehand was a major positive.
"I was building quite a good feeling over course of the race, especially with the tyres," said Bradl.
"It got better and better as the laps passed by, and for the first time this weekend I got into the 1m56s bracket [after qualifying in the 1m57s].
"As we approached half-distance, I lost both the front and rear and crashed in turn 15. The crash itself was kind of strange, as it happened directly at the apex of that corner.
"I would have preferred to finish the race, especially to learn a lot more, but in the end it is what it is. We need to try to be better at the next race."
Bradl was running two seconds clear of Rabat at the time of his crash, and was convinced a point was in the offing.
"I saw Alvaro in front of me and he wasn't too far away," the 26-year-old added. "Tito lost out a bit then, so it would have definitely been possible to get some points.
"We basically went in the right direction, as prior to the start of the race we changed quite a lot of things in terms of electronics and the suspension.
"Now we'll try to use the data we gained to take over to the next race and try to be better there."
Interview by Toni Boerner