After starting his first MotoGP weekend since 2020 with a 1m 35.211s in opening practice for the San Marino Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso signed off the Misano activities with a 1m 32.830s at the post-race test.

That was good enough to put the new Petronas Yamaha rider in 18th place and a Factory M1 sandwich between Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi, while 1.3s from Aleix Espargaro's timesheet-topping lap for Aprilia.

Most significantly, Dovizioso's improvement in pace means he heads for next weekend's COTA round believing he can fight with some full-time riders after finishing 21st and last in the Misano race.

"This test has been very important because I did a lot of kilometres on the bike, we tried a different set-up and some different material," said Dovizioso, who is thought to have tried a carbon fibre swingarm on the ex-Morbidelli 2019-spec M1.

"For me it was important to understand the bike and the team to understand the reaction about me."

The triple title runner-up for Ducati added: "We tried different things and improved a little bit with the bike, but from what I saw Yamaha don’t change a lot of things normally because they know very well this bike; what works and what won't.

"I think it was more about the work I did with the team to adapt me to the bike, that's why I was able to be in the group [at the test].

"In the race weekend I wasn't really like that, now I'm still on the back of the group but not last and the pace is acceptable.

"Before coming here, I only knew the bike from 2012, so my target was to have the same speed as the group and after that start to work on some details to be faster and faster. About that we can be happy."

One of the main conclusions Dovizioso took from the test was that, just as when successfully adapting to a Tech3 M1 from the Honda RCV in 2012, he needs to 'redesign' the racing lines to suit the flowing nature of the Yamaha rather than the stop-and-go style of the Ducati.

"Lap-by-lap I realised, especially because I followed Fabio [Quartararo] one exit in the afternoon, and also I remember very well what happened in 2012 and it's exactly the same: I have to redesign all the lines of every track, because the bike requests a completely different approach," Dovizioso explained.

"This is good to know. Because you know in which area you have to work. I think to change that will take time, but this is the work we have to do together with the team. Fortunately, we have four races."

Dovizioso will remain with the satellite Yamaha team as it changes from SRT to RNF Racing for the 2022 campaign, when he will have a factory-spec bike.