Last year at Mugello, which features the highest speeds on the MotoGP calendar, the top Yamaha was just ninth through the speed trap.

Ahead were fours Ducatis, three Hondas and the Suzuki.

Fast forward to this year and all four Yamaha riders - two factory and two satellite - were inside the top-speed top seven.

As last year Ducati led the speed charts, but a near 8km/h difference to the top (M1 in 2011 was reduced to just over 2km/h this year.

Race winner and title leader Jorge Lorenzo was asked to explain the Mugello top speed progress.

"The engine is more or less the same [since the start of this year], the only thing is that we improved a little bit the aerodynamics," he said.

"Now we have very good aerodynamics to get a very high speed at the end of the straight and also Mugello is a good track for us because the last corner is so fast, so we don't have to accelerate too much.

"Anyway this year I have a good engine, much better than last year, quite good acceleration. We will keep working on the engine and chassis to get more traction and more speed."

Race runner-up and nearest championship challenger Dani Pedrosa confirmed that the Honda has lost some of its straight-line advantage during the change from 800 to 1000cc engines.

Pedrosa now feels there is little to separate the factory Japanese machines.

"It looks like this year the bikes are very similar," he said. "Some tracks are a little better for them and some for us.

"But it seems like - from the outside - they [Yamaha] have improved a lot in the areas where we were stronger. Like speed in the exit of the corner. But they didn't lose corner speed.

"So I hope to improve our main strong points, which were top speed and a little on corner exit. Now we are struggling a lot to keep the bike calm. Always it is shaking and wheelieing and it's so hard to keep the bike 'quiet' out of the corners."

Looking specifically at top speed, Pedrosa also revealed the influence aerodynamics.

"With speed, on Friday I think we were 4km/h slower than them. Then I changed something on the aerodynamics so I improved a little bit my speed," said Pedrosa

"It's is okay, we are almost the same, but not anymore like it used to be. So one of our strong points is a little less strong."

Pedrosa's weekend top speed peaked at 342.5km/h (212.8mph), with Lorenzo setting 344.1km/h and his team-mate Ben Spies 344.8km/h. Ducati's Valentino Rossi led the way with a 346.9km/h.

Lorenzo won his fifth race of the season on Sunday's by five-seconds from Pedrosa and leads the Repsol rider by 19 points in the championship.

Pedrosa and team-mate Casey Stoner tested a new RCV on Monday and hope to have at least the engine available for the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca from July 27-29.



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