Valentino Rossi was upbeat after the second day of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island, as he believes he has closed the gap to Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
The Spanish rider dominated the Sepang test two weeks ago, emerging as the clear favourite after three days as the quickest and most consistent rider at the Malaysian circuit.
But the outlook has changed in Australia, with Lorenzo not finding the same kind of form he showed a fortnight ago.
And Rossi believes that, judging by his form at Phillip Island, he could enjoy a competitive start to the season.
"She [the bike]'s happy because compared to Sepang I'm a lot closer to Lorenzo and I think we can fight for a good result because I have a good pace," said Rossi, who finished fourth quickest in today's session.
The Italian, who was less than a tenth slower than Lorenzo, said he felt comfortable right from the start of today's running.
"Today the situation improved a lot and already from this morning we were able to ride the bike in a good way and quite competitive from the morning to the end of the session," Rossi told reporters.
"We were able to improve the pace. All the feelings are good.
"We need to do some other work, but already a day like this is important to understand the tyres. We are quite competitive."