Honda's Dani Pedrosa says he has been trying to replicate the cold and wet conditions he struggled with in MotoGP last season over the winter.
Pedrosa's small stature has often resulted in him struggling to warm up the tyres in the wet or in particularly cool conditions, as well as being unable to use the hardest tyre compounds.
This proved fatal to the Spaniard's title ambitions last year: although he took nine podiums (including wins at Jerez and Valencia), his best tally since 2014, he could still only finish fourth in the standings, 88 points behind Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez.
At Assen, Misano and Phillip Island Pedrosa scored a total of just nine points, although the low point of the year came at Motegi, where he retired after circulating several seconds a lap off the pace.
As such, the 32-year-old has been working hard to try and address this weakness over the winter.
“Dani has been working a lot this winter to try to improve his feelings in those difficult conditions," explained a source close to Pedrosa.
"He has recreated those conditions to get used to it and to avoid feeling unsafe or uncertain. These tyres are very sensitive and if the temperatures decrease, his performance does as well."
Pedrosa himself told Motorsport.com: “Last year I did some good races and I had moments where I got on the podium. I had some consistency to try to fight for the title.
"But then, because at some tracks I finished 12th or 14th, I ended up out of the fight.
“This winter we’ve been working on trying to get used to those conditions that are difficult. You will never have a MotoGP bike to train, or the same feelings that a bike like that can give you, but at least you try to find a solution.
"The key will be to see how we adapt to a difficult situation like that along with the team."
Pedrosa was fastest in the opening day of Sepang testing last month, and ended up second-fastest across the three days, less than two tenths slower than Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo.
Translation by Irene Aneas