With 46 fewer points than this time last season, it's safe to say that Takaaki Nakagami's promotion to the latest-spec Honda hasn't gone as planned.

The Japanese, who only finished a race outside the top ten once last season, has done so eight times in 2021 (two retirements in both years).

But while last year's Covid reduced championship finished at round 14, Nakagami still has four races left to salvage something from this year. And, if the results of the Misano test can be replicated, he might just pull off a surprise.

Tenth in the race, Nakagami rose to fourth fastest on both days of testing, finishing just 0.151s form the top.

Nakagami re-tried the latest RCV fairing and seemed to put in substantial laps on the 'original' 2021 chassis (with carbon-fibre inserts, rather than the 2020 design he had previously switched back to, or any of the newer chassis recently used by Marc Marquez).

“I’m so happy with the result and the feeling on the bike. We made a big improvement, the feeling on the bike is so good and I’m really happy where we’ve ended up," Nakagami said.

"I want to thank my team, all the mechanics because these last two days has been really hard work for them, so I appreciate the effort from everyone.

"I can now say that we have definitely found what we were looking for, and we are ready for the next race in Austin which I’m really looking forward to."

Team-mate Alex Marquez also left the test happier than he had started it. The Spaniard did try some of the recent Repsol chassis used by brother Marc and team-mate Pol Espargaro, while also working on weight distribution.

15th in the race, Alex was 13th fastest at the test (+0.675).

“We’ve tried several things over the two days, yesterday I wasn’t really happy as we missed some things, but today we went in a correct way," he said. "We also tried some new chassis for us and I was feeling really good on the brand new items and great on the bike overall, which is the most important thing.

"Obviously, the grip level in tests is always better than normal, but we found some good things and we improved a lot to be always lapping in the '32s.

"Now we just need to keep working like we have and keep improving day by day. I’m looking forward to being in Austin and it will be a new track for me on a MotoGP bike.”

Neither LCR rider tried the prototype 2022 Honda seen on track with Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl.

Nakagami is twelfth in the world championship and Marquez 16th with four rounds to go.