Mapfre Team Mahindra rider Jorge Martin feels the new MGP30 from the Indian manufacturer has improved from last year after testing at Jerez but still lacks when compared to rivals.
Ahead of the official pre-season testing in March, the Spanish team underwent two days of private testing at Jerez with riders Martin and Francesco Bagnaia.
This was the first chance for the factory riders to test the new and updated version of the MGP30 since its launch at the Delhi Auto Expo earlier this month.
The start, however, was not auspicious for the team as they faced issues with the new bike. "At the start of the day the bike was cutting out on the exit of a few corners and we had to work to fix that.
"Then in the second session we had an issue with the gearbox, it seems there is a part that we need to adapt," he elaborated.
"Luckily we were able to work around these problems but we used a new gearbox on the second day."
After getting on top of the troubles, the Spanish rider felt confident with the bike. "The set-up of the bike is positive and we have already put this year's suspension in, which is an update from Ohlins that seems good."
"I am happy. At the end of the day, we were able to set a fast pace even without a soft tyre.
"The first impressions of the new Mahindra are positive, it is quite an improvement on the bike from last year," he said.
"We are still lacking a little compared to the other factories so hopefully, Mahindra will have some more material for us at the next test."
Martin completed a solid 42 laps with the Spanish rider ending in the top three among other teams that ran.
Teammate Bagnaia too hailed the improvements. "I am happy, the bike has huge potential and we have already done a good job," he said.