Marco Simoncelli, who saw his best MotoGP qualifying performance go to waste when he crashed out on the opening lap of Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, underlined what might have been by setting the fastest lap during an official test at the Estoril circuit on Monday.

The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider highsided out of the race at Turn Four after being caught out by a cold tyre - forcing the Italian, who crashed from the lead at the previous Jerez race, to again walk away from at least a potential first MotoGP rostrum.

There were no such mistakes from Simoncelli on Monday and he finished the test with a best lap of 1min 36.211sec, The Italian tested new clutch settings for his factory RC212V as well as the new Bridgestone tyres (one front and two rear) made available to all riders.

Simoncelli's lap time was 1.4sec inside the best lap from Sunday's race and 0.105sec quicker than world champion and Estoril runner-up Jorge Lorenzo, who was closest to Simoncelli on Monday.

The main focus of both Lorenzo and Factory Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies was on a new swing arm and updated suspension components. Lorenzo also took the opportunity to test new electronic settings in the hunt for more grip and both riders tested the new tyres.

But there was no new M1 engine at the test. The Factory Yamaha Team told that reports suggesting a new engine would be present were down to Lorenzo being 'misheard'.

Third on Monday, as he had been in the race, was Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner (+0.391sec), who suffered no repeat of the back pain that struck him in the race during his 49 laps. Stoner tested the 2011 Ohlins fork, a new clutch and the new specification tyres.

There was a real surprise in fourth as rookie Cal Crutchlow (+0.639sec) made use of the rare chance for non-GP seat time to cut a massive 1.886sec from his best race lap, set on the way to eighth, to also break the official circuit lap record for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.

Crutchlow was the final rider within one-second of Simoncelli, with top Ducati rider Valentino Rossi 1.171sec from the top.

Monday's test saw Rossi and factory team-mate Nicky Hayden (ninth, +1.252sec) evaluate all-round changes - including a new chassis and engine - for the Desmosedici, which they hope will bring it up to race-winning speed in dry conditions.

Rossi, who said the new updates were "immediately better" rode for 82 laps and Hayden 89. Both riders also liked the new specification tyres. The bad news, Rossi conceded, was the size of the gap to the top.

Yamaha riders Colin Edwards (Tech 3) and Spies were separated by just 0.011sec in sixth and seventh, with Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso eighth. The Italian tested a new clutch, which reduced rear-wheel hopping, and also completed the tyre test.

Only Randy de Puniet and Hector Barbera were not on track today.

Pramac Ducati rider de Puniet left for medical checks on his left knee, while Aspar Ducati's Barbera cracked a bone in his back when he crashed out of Sunday's race.

Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki took over from Alvaro Bautista in the afternoon, while Sunday's race winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) also left early to rest his healing shoulder.

Pedrosa set the tenth best time, 1.468sec from Simoncelli, during his 17 laps.

Honda LCR's Toni Elias completed the most laps of any rider, 108, on his way to 13th out of the 15 riders.

Round four of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Le Mans, France, on May 13-15.

Lorenzo, last year's winner, will start the race with a four point lead over Pedrosa.



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