Valentino Rossi's injured Fiat Yamaha team-mate and 2009 title runner-up, Jorge Lorenzo, was the only Yamaha rider to improve on the final night of the Qatar test, placing the young Spaniard joint sixth.

Lorenzo, preparing to start his third MotoGP season in 2010, had missed the previous Sepang test after damaging his hand in a motocross training accident.

The #99's return saw him classified seventh and then sixth over the two nights, and joint seventh overall, as he reduced the time deficit to the top from 1.4sec to 1.1sec.

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Lorenzo still felt some pain in the hard braking areas and needed to take a painkilling pill, but is confident that he will be back to full strength in time for the season-opening race on April 11.

"Today [tonight] my hand felt okay, maybe a bit worse than yesterday," he confessed. "Of course it's not as good as before the accident but this is to be expected! It's hard for me in the braking areas and I can't push any harder than I have been today at the moment, but I hope it will have improved a lot by the time of the first race.

"Our bike is great, Yamaha have done a fantastic job and you can see this from the strong performance of all the Yamaha riders. We've done a lot of work and tried many things, so I hope that these will help us when we come back here in three weeks. I will keep working to strengthen my hand and I hope to be in much better condition by then," the four-time 2009 race winner concluded.

"We have been happy here to see that Jorge feels better than expected, even if his thumb is still not perfect," added new team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. "To be able to finish in the top six when he's not in the best shape is a great achievement.

"Jorge feels good on the bike and we have made some good steps forward in these two days; he can feel the difference already. At the moment these tiny steps are very important. Now we have almost three weeks until the race and this gives Jorge time to improve further, so hopefully we will be in good shape when we return."