Andrea Dovizioso, who came within 0.052sec of his first podium of the season on Sunday, set the pace during Monday's post-race test in Catalunya whilst using a modified chassis on his Repsol Honda RC212V.

Dovizioso, who has now taken fourth in the world championship standings from injured team-mate Dani Pedrosa, lapped consistently fast during his 69 laps, with a best time of 1min 42.230sec.

That was comfortably quicker than the fastest lap from Sunday's race, a 1min 42.858sec by Ducati's Casey Stoner, and also inside the existing lap record of 1min 42.358sec set by Pedrosa in the 2008 race. Pedrosa missed the test in order to rest his injured hip.

"I'm really happy with the test today and with the pace we were able to achieve. The modified chassis we tested gave very positive feedback straight away so I used it for most of the day," said Dovizioso, who beat his best race lap by over one second on Monday.

"One of the main improvements in feeling was in the entry to the corner which is a very important plus point because that's one of the main areas where we've been looking to make progress.

"We also performed some tests on other aspects of the set-up and all-in-all the results were promising. In the race yesterday we were very close to the podium, and also quite close to the leaders after a dry race run in very demanding conditions, so we're heading in the right direction.

"I know Honda is working really hard to give us a machine to win races, and today has given us a lot of positive signals, so thanks to them - and to my team who have also been working very hard this weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back out on track in Assen," added Dovi who, unlike Pedrosa, was not given the chance to try the modified frame during practice for the grand prix.

"As well as the good lap time, we've also collected a lot of information that we can use to develop the machine, because we're not finished yet," declared team manager Kazuhiko Yamano. "Testing opportunities are limited this year, so it's important we make maximum use of this one."

Closest to Dovizioso on Monday was Valentino Rossi, who returned to the scene of his dramatic last gasp victory over Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. The Italian, now level with Lorenzo and Stoner at the top of the world championship, set a best lap time 0.204sec slower than Dovizioso and just 0.012sec quicker than Lorenzo.

After a characteristically late start, reigning six time MotoGP world champion Rossi rode for 58 laps, which included evaluation of a 'long life' engine spec for use from Brno, while Lorenzo completed 80 circulations of his home track.

Fastest Ducati rider at the test was not Stoner, but rookie Mika Kallio, who - like Dovizioso - appeared to made a clear step forward with new parts. The Finn, ninth on Sunday for Pramac Racing, lapped 1.246sec faster than he had managed during the grand prix and only 0.4sec slower than Dovizioso.

Stoner, who clung on to a podium finish despite sickness and exhaustion during Sunday's sixth round, was 0.126sec slower on the factory-run Desmosedici GP9. Unsurprisingly, given his physical condition, the Australian completed the least laps of any rider (38).

A 0.4sec gap separated Stoner from former team-mate Loris Capirossi, the Rizla Suzuki rider working on the latest GSV-R engine parts as he claimed sixth position and became the final person to get within one second of Dovizioso.

Frenchman Randy de Puniet was a fraction slower for LCR Honda, with Chris Vermeulen a tenth of a second behind team-mate Capirossi in eighth.

Alex de Angelis was the top Honda Gresini rider in ninth with Niccolo Canepa improving significantly on his 16th in the race with tenth on the second Pramac machine, despite a fall.

Marco Melandri's main chance of improvement is through set-up and the Italian clocked the eleventh fastest time for Hayate, and also took a tumble, while Toni Elias - who crashed out of his home race - was twelfth at the test.

Ducati riders Sete Gibernau (Grupo Francisco Hernando) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) were 13th and 14th. Gibernau improved slightly on his race lap best while Hayden - despite a typically lengthy 98 laps - was slightly slower than he had been on his way to tenth in the grand prix.

MotoGP's newest rider, Gabor Talmacsi, completed the 15 rider field for Scot Honda. The Hungarian beat his best race lap time by 0.6sec at the test, was 2.826sec slower than Dovizioso and 0.899sec from Hayden.

As well as Pedrosa, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team was not present, while Yuki Takahashi didn't appear on track due to a broken finger sustained on lap one of Sunday's race.

Round seven of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship, the Dutch TT at Assen, takes place on June 27, while the second and final opportunity for testing before the end of the season will be after the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno in mid-August.