After suffering his worst weekend as a Yamaha rider, MotoGP world championship leader Maverick Vinales was back on the pace during Monday's official post-race test in Catalunya.

Vinales led the timesheets for much of the day, only losing out on the top spot during a late time-attack duel with Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez.

Vinales set a best lap of 1m 44.437s, two-tenths under his qualifying pace and was regularly under his 1m 46.7s fastest race lap, recorded on his way to a lowly tenth in the grand prix.

"Today I felt good again on the bike after Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no good felling," said Vinales. "I was riding really good and also, as I was feeling confident, I could push a little bit more the bike on the limit. It was nice to ride good again.

"We try many things on the bike and I was feeling great with all parts. I was doing many 1m '45 laps and with 20-25 laps, 1m '46 high-'47 low. So was quite good lap times compared to the race. But anyway it was good that I could make long runs and gain good confidence."

Asked whether he understands why he felt so much better today, Vinales - who laid the blame firmly at Michelin's door after a similarly poor race in Jerez - was diplomatic: "Honestly, no. Already from the beginning when I enter the track I feel much better... Anyway it's something we have to pass and go forward to Assen."

In terms of technical developments, Yamaha have brought two new chassis designs for testing this week - the team will stay on tomorrow for an extra day - to try and help their hot-track woes.

Rossi felt the new version he used was a better, with Vinales less enthusiastic about the design he tried. They will swap chassis tomorrow.

"I just try one [of the two]," he confirmed. "[It did not help] in the way we expected! It helped in another area. Tomorrow we are going to focus on another chassis, to try to improve that feeling. Especially in the hot conditions."

The triple 2017 race winner was more convinced by a modified version of the special Yamaha 'downforce' fairing, featuring more air vents.

"It was good because the fairing we had, at tracks like Mugello the bike was heavy, here was quite good. Quite nice to ride with the new fairing. So it was a good test because it's important also for Assen as we have a lot of wheelie there."

Vinales now holds a seven-point lead over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso heading intonext weekend's Dutch TT.

By Peter McLaren

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