Valentino Rossi may have lost out on overall Jerez test honours by just 0.014s to Cal Crutchlow in the closing minutes, but the seven time MotoGP champion was in buoyant mood ahead of his M1 race return.

Rossi led the timesheets for the first time since his Yamaha comeback during limited dry running on Sunday, with his marker looking set to stand unbeaten when rain returned on Monday.

But conditions improved in the afternoon, when Tech 3 Yamaha star Crutchlow edged ahead with just minutes of the 2013 pre-season remaining.

Rossi couldn't better his own Sunday best, but was still ranked second on Monday (+0.224s from Crutchlow) and again outpaced team-mate and reigning double champion Jorge Lorenzo. Sunday had been the first time that Rossi set a lap time quicker than Lorenzo in 2013 testing.

Both Rossi and Lorenzo were evaluating a new chassis during Monday's hectic final hours, with Rossi stating that he prefers the previous specification.

"I'm so happy because at the end of today's session we had some quite good conditions to make some laps in the dry and especially because for us it was very important to try the new chassis," said Rossi.

"The feeling is generally ok; I was able to be competitive in difficult conditions and I also made good lap times with the used tyre. The new chassis has some good and bad points but I think I will start the season with the one I used yesterday and test this one again during the season.

"I am happy about the test; I was competitive all three days so I think we can be competitive also for the first race in Qatar."

Factory Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli added: "We achieved most of our targets and we finished Jerez Test with Yamaha in the top three which means the package is really good. We are looking forward to Qatar and we are ready to fight."

Lorenzo was third on overall lap times, just 0.029s from Crutchlow's best.


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