Having opted not to try the latest Desmosedici updates during the pressure of a grand prix weekend, Pramac's Mike Kallio set a stunning pace on his debut with the carbon fibre swingarm and a new traction control package during Monday's post-race test.

The MotoGP rookie, who returned to the top ten for the first time since round two with ninth place in Sunday's race, improved on his best race lap by 1.246sec as he got within 0.41sec of fastest man Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda).

The only other riders to lap quicker than Kallio were Fiat Yamaha stars Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, first and second in Sunday's race, and the Finn had the rare honour of outpacing factory Ducati star Casey Stoner, although the Australian was still suffering from his race day sickness.

"Today has been an important day for us," began the Finn, after his 98 laps - almost four race distances "Compared to Sunday we have clearly improved and this gives me a lot of trust for the rest of the season.

"The championship started really well with two eighth positions, but then things got worst. Already yesterday the level was acceptable and now we have to continue on this direction also thanks to the great work done today."

Kallio explained that the result had been possible due front end set-up improvements, combined with increased rear confidence provided by the new parts - in particular the carbon fibre swingarm.

The composite swingarm is stiffer than the standard aluminium version and was first used by the factory team at the penultimate pre-season test, although Stoner has switched between the carbon and aluminium versions of late to suit track requirements.

"It has been a really positive session because we solved the problems encountered yesterday and the technical updates, most of all the new carbon fibre swingarm, gave me more confidence with the rear part of the bike even if there are still some aspects that we have to improve," concluded Mika.

"During the weekend we found some problem that we had to solve today," confirmed team technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini. "The biggest problem was the front part of the bike where there was too much movement coming out of the turns.

"After solving it we concentrated on the updates brought here from Ducati, like the new carbon fibre swingarm and the updated version of the traction control. In addition we had some new stuff that Mika really liked most of all because the bike become more manageable.

"Mika found himself at ease straight away and in the final part of the session we united all the information acquired to give Mika the best technical package at his disposal; he has done the rest," Sterlacchini declared.

Kallio's team-mate Niccolo Canepa also made a marked improvement with the new parts, improving from a forgettable 16th in the race to tenth (out of 15 riders) at the test.

The Italian rookie lapped 0.754sec slower than Kallio but was ahead of fellow Desmosedici riders Sete Gibernau and Nicky Hayden. Canepa also came close to matching Kallio in terms of improvement, having beaten his best lap time in the race by 1.143sec.

"Better than yesterday also thanks to the new tail-piece that made the bike more manageable in the turns," said Canepa, who rode for 90 laps. "We have been more than a second faster compare to yesterday's fastest lap time in the race and this is a positive step forward.

"I need to complete many laps and this has been the perfect occasion to get more confidence with the bike. In Assen, even if I never ridden before with a MotoGP bike, we will be more competitive," he insisted.


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