Bradley Smith admits his MotoGP pre-season has been "a challenge" and "frustrating" at times.
The British rider has had a quiet winter, finishing four of the nine days of testing inside the top 10, but was the first to complete a race simulation, at Sepang in February.
While Smith is lining up with the Tech3 Yamaha squad for a fourth-straight year, the change to a control ECU and Michelin's return as tyre supplier has made the pre-season "quite different compared to other years".
"It's been an interesting process where we've had to get used to the new tyres, as well as to judge their evolution because we've had some different front and rear tyre specs to evaluate," he added.
"I must say that learning to adapt the bike to these different compounds has been a challenge.
"Some parts of the pre-season have also been frustrating for me because of the time the weather took from us in Australia, and also the [limited] tyre situation a bit here in Qatar and as a result, we weren't able to extract the maximum from the available testing time.
"Nevertheless, we are within touching distance of our target, which I think will be inside the top eight this year."
Smith was sixth in last year's championship as the top satellite rider and after finishing Qatar's last day of testing in 12th, 1.156 seconds off factory rider Jorge Lorenzo, remains "confident that we can do a good job" in 2016.
"I still believe that we have a bike that's only at 90 per cent so there's room to improve and we are always getting closer," he said.
"[Friday's] test was positive as I improved my time quite a lot and we had consistent pace.
"Also, I was able to go out and ride quickly immediately which is something that I was struggling with on these tyres but I figured that one out.
"I'm excited to complete the testing and finally get into racing mode as the competition brings out a bit of extra pressure which some people like and some don't.
"I like to be put under pressure and I feel I perform better in that way, so roll on the start of the season and FP1 in a few weeks' time."