Reigning 250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama made a successful return to MotoGP action at Monday's Brno test, which marked his first grand prix track time since fracturing a vertebra at Silverstone on June 20.
Aoyama rode his Interwetten Honda for 46 laps around the Czech Republic circuit with a best lap time of 1min 58.830sec, which was 0.657sec under the best race lap by his replacement Alex de Angelis during Sunday's race.
The Japanese and his team are now considering whether he should ride at the Indianapolis Grand Prix later this month.
"Now it is two months after my crash and I am back on the bike for the first time. My feeling and my condition is better than I expected and I am very happy about that," said Aoyama. "Today was more a test of my healing process improvements and how I can deal with the bike.
"My back is still not 100% okay and I don't want to decide now if I will return in Indianapolis or not, I want to see how I feel tomorrow and later this week. Anyway I want to say that this test was positive for me and I am positive about my whole situation. I want to return as fast as possible."
Crew chief Tom Jojic admitted to being surprised by Aoyama's form, which saw him outpace Pramac Ducati's Mika Kallio.
"It was a good test today and Hiro was able to ride some laps without any pain," said Jojic. "The lap time surprised us and was better than expected. He rides the MotoGP bike for the first time on this track and didn't sit on a bike for two months now and he did the same lap time as we had in the free practice on Friday straight away. And he even bettered this time.
"Unfortunately we could not test the whole day as it started to rain, but I think this is better for Hiro and his healing process anyway if he does not test the whole day. I want to thank Alex as because of his good work in the last three races we found a really good base set up, which also help Hiro and suits his riding style as well," Jojic revealed.