After a downbeat assessment following Saturday's running in Qatar, Jorge Lorenzo has hailed a "big improvement" that put him fourth on the final pre-season testing timesheeets.

Down in eighth place at the conclusion of Saturday's test, new Ducati rider Lorenzo was unhappy with his overall performance onboard the GP17.

"For the moment, I think it's difficult for me and the bike to win here," the Spaniard admitted, adding that "right now I see it [being] very difficult.

"But you never know what can happen. It depends on the conditions and a lot of things. The tyres will be important for us."

Sunday, though, saw a vast improvement from the former Yamaha rider.

Lorenzo finished the night's running fourth fastest with his 1:54.519 a mere 0.189s shy of Maverick Vinales' pace-setting time.

And the Spaniard, who complete a race simulation on the night, was much happier.

"I'm pleased because I could see that when I feel good with the bike," he told Crash.net. "I can be very fast. And I still haven't found the limit of this bike for one lap.

"But the most important thing is the race, obviously, and for the moment we still have a lot of work to do on the Friday and Saturday before the race to improve the pace a little bit.

"But a big improvement compared to yesterday. Especially with the soft tyres, they gave us a lot of benefit. But also I believe that we can be competitive with the hard tyres, and this is the objective and the goal for the weekend.

"[Danilo] Petrucci did a good simulation with the hard rear tyre, so that means the bike can also work with this tyre. Especially the tyre has been crucial for the big improvement. But also more hours understanding the bike, and better riding, I guess.

"We need to work a little bit more on the consistency to understand more why we couldn't keep in the 1'54s for more time. But we will improve something for the weekend, I'm sure."