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.