Valentino Rossi and Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will return to Catalunya for a private test on Tuesday, when their top priority will be to decide whether to race a new chassis at Assen.
The pair got their first taste of the development during Monday's official post-race test, when Rossi was the last of 18 riders on track following last night's victory celebrations.
After evaluating some new Michelin rear tyres, the Italian did one run on the new frame, declaring; “the first impression was good”.
“Tomorrow with more time I will test the chassis more deeply,” he added. “Tomorrow can be an important day because we have some interesting things; the chassis, the swingarm... some things like this arriving from Yamaha. So it will be interesting to understand if we are able to improve a bit.”
Although Rossi admitted he had been told by Yamaha not to give away details of the frame's behaviour, he joked; “what you expect from a new chassis is more a less then same: Try to make the corner fastest usually. This is the target!”
The Italian also confirmed the chassis was different to the alternative 2016 design seen in winter testing. “Yes, that one is forgotten. This is a new one. More similar to the standard.
“If tomorrow we decide that the new chassis and swingarm are better we can use at the next race.”
Team director Massimo Meregalli confirmed: “The main task is to decide which chassis is better. If we conclude that the new frame is better, we might have it ready at the next round in Assen.”
Meanwhile, although Rossi felt that the new Michelin rear tyre construction was a clear improvement, “it is not something they will bring in Assen or Sachsenring. It is more long term. Maybe the second half of the season.”
The Doctor set the eleventh fastest lap time, 1.491s behind pace setter Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda). Lorenzo was second fastest.
By Peter McLaren