MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith knocked 1.4s from his fastest Spanish Grand Prix race lap while testing with a new chassis on Monday at Jerez.
While the other Yamaha riders, including Tech 3 team-mate Cal Crutchlow, were unsure of the benefits of the newest design, Smith found the chassis upgrade offered better braking stability and rear grip.
As a result, Smith already intends to use the new frame in the all-important home round for the Tech 3 team at Le Mans later this month.
“I spent the whole day working on race set-up and I was lucky enough to be given a new chassis, so I am very grateful to Yamaha for that,” said Smith. “I really liked the new chassis and I was able to lap a lot more comfortable. We tried a few different solutions with that new frame and I made some big steps with my pace on old tyres.”
Smith's best lap at the test was 1.1s behind the fastest time, set by Honda's Marc Marquez, which compared with a difference of 1.9s to the top in terms of Sunday's race lap times.
“It is difficult to say how much the improvement is compared to yesterday because the conditions were really tricky in the race but I was able to lap in the 1.40s all day today on new and old tyres,” said Smith.
“I felt happy at that pace and it didn't feel like I was risking too much as well.
“Hopefully that is a good step in the right direction but we will see in Le Mans where we will have both bikes running the new frame. I was much more stable on the brakes and I had much more rear grip and I was closer on race pace, so I can go to Le Mans optimistic.”