Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Colin Edwards and James Toseland ended the first day of the final MotoGP pre-season test, at Jerez, in fifth and eleventh places.
Texan Edwards continued his impressive winter testing form by setting the fifth quickest time, just 0.007sec off fourth placed Chris Vermeulen, to make it three M1s in the top five.
Afterwards, Edwards claimed he is taking a cautious approach and that the lap times were a bonus.
“I'm not taking any risks so close to the first race, so to be challenging up in the top six is a bonus and I was feeling good out there,” he said. “I've got to say that Yamaha has done a great job with the new chassis. You can enter the corner so hard and so fast and I don't think I've found the full potential of the Bridgestone front tyre yet. I'm a front-end guy so the combination of the new chassis and the Bridgestone front tyre is really helping me and I'm really confident with the package.”
Toseland was a more modest eleventh out of the 19 riders present, but was buoyed by his progress up the order as he fights to regain ground after his huge Sepang accident.
“I felt much better today and the old confidence was coming back,” said the Englishman. “I was back in the top ten for most of the day and I'm back within a second of the guys running at the front. That's encouraging because I've been much further back than that in the previous tests after the big crash I had in Sepang. It is nice to know that the competitive times are coming back again.
“I did over 80 laps today as well and that was the time on the bike I needed. The development rear tyre Bridgestone is really good and there's a lot more I can get out of that, so that's another positive from today. It was also good to be out riding the new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 colours. I'm sure we are going to have a good season together and the bike looks unbelievable,” he added.
Like Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, the two Tech 3 riders are also separated by a wall inside the pit garage.