It's rare to see a satellite Yamaha rider leading a dry MotoGP test session, but Andrea Dovizioso was able to do just that at Catalunya on Monday.
The result continued a rich vein of form for the easygoing Italian, who took just five races to claim his first rostrum for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, in Sunday's grand prix at the same circuit.
Dovizioso set a best time of 1m 41.997s doing 42 Monday laps to finish ahead of factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies by 0.146s. Dovizioso spent Monday's test evaluating a new engine and electronics.
The electronics were an instant hit, but the engine needs further work.
“Today was very positive and despite missing a bit of time while the track dried this morning, we were able to work through our schedule,” said Dovizioso. “Finishing fastest means we have shown once again our potential and I am now starting to feel really confident and comfortable with the YZR-M1.
“Yamaha gave us a new engine to try and I was able to give my impressions of it and help with some comments for future development. The most positive point of the day was the electronics package. It doesn't help for a single lap but it makes the life of the tyre significantly better and that is really important for us.
“We made another step forward with the set-up of the bike compared to the race and now I am looking forward to the Aragon test. This track has not been the best for me so I am curious to check my level on the Yamaha there. I am looking forward to confirming the results of the race and the test here in Catalunya.”
Dovizioso, now fourth in the championship, has made no secret of his desire to return to factory status next season,
Team-mate Cal Crutchlow heavily damaged his M1 in a morning fall on the way to seventh place.
"It was my fault because we knew there was likely to be some water under the bridge at Turn 4 after the overnight rain. The problem is you can't see the wet patch and as soon as I touched the brakes I crashed," said Crutchlow.
"It was a very fast crash and I've lost some skin on my right leg and back. Luckily though I am fine and I was able to go back out and build up my confidence again.
"Losing one bike made it difficult because it meant we had to put all the new parts we had on one bike, so I wasn't sure exactly where the improvements were. If we had two bikes it would have made it easier to understand specifically what felt better.
"But I was able to work a lot on used tyres and my pace at the end of the day was pleasing. I wasn't going to push too hard and risk another crash so I'm sure I could be higher than seventh.
"Now I'm looking forward to Aragon where hopefully I can get a better understanding for the new parts Yamaha delivered here.”
The Aragon test will take place on Wednesday.