Dani Pedrosa ended a one-day test session at the Jerez circuit with the fastest time after the Spaniard had luckily escaped injury in a high-speed crash.
The Repsol Honda rider ended one of only two post-race tests in 2010 with a best lap of 1.39.425 at a sun-drenched but windy Jerez circuit.
Pedrosa beat reigning world champion Valentino Rossi by 0.055s after he’d crashed his Repsol Honda RC212V at Turn 10 in the afternoon session.
Pedrosa, who was narrowly beaten by bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo in an epic finish to Sunday’s Spanish MotoGP race, continued to evaluate a new chassis he first tried during the race weekend.
The triple world champion tested a wide range of different Ohlins suspension settings on the frame, but didn’t run another chassis that HRC had ready and waiting on the truck if Pedrosa had opted to try it.
Pedrosa also completed two runs on a new V4 motor but failed to be impressed, complaining of engine braking issues while also unconvinced that the new engine helped produce a smoother power delivery.
Pedrosa’s best time though was 0.3s quicker than his best lap in the 27-lap race.
He said: “This was a useful day of testing and we spent some time working in detail on suspension adjustments - some of the things we didn’t have the time to test in the pre-season because we were focusing on other issues.
"We also tried a modified spec engine and collected some information for the development engineers, but it’s too early to say whether it’s a step forward yet because we only had two runs out of the pits with it.
"The crash was a little strange and I wasn’t expecting it, but the important thing is that I’m not hurt and I can look forward to Le Mans, which is a circuit I’ve raced well at before. I’m looking forward to the next round.”
Italian Rossi didn’t even take to the track until shortly after 1pm and it wasn’t long before he also suffered a crash.
The nine-times world champion lost the front of his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 at the second corner but didn’t aggravate a right shoulder injury he first picked up in a motocross training accident last month.
Rossi was only doing just over 40mph when he crashed.
Rossi tested a new YZR-M1 engine to help improve top speed and acceleration but the 31-year-old reported only a marginal improvement.
And he tried different chassis and suspension settings to solve the rear grip issues that left him in third position in Sunday’s race.
Rossi said: “We improved our race setting a bit and found better stability and grip, so we arrived at the right place finally, even if we were too late for the race!
"We tried a new front tyre for Bridgestone, which was good and also a slightly different engine from Japan, trying to improve the acceleration. The difference was small but important, although we don't know yet when we will be able to use it in a race.
"My lap times were fast and apart from the small crash, when I just put a bit too much lean on and lost the front, it was a good day.
"I was only doing 65 km/h so luckily it wasn't a problem. Now we have a long rest and I want to fully recover so I'm back to full strength in Le Mans."
Jerez winner Jorge Lorenzo was third quickest as he dedicated part of his day to improving his starts.
He completed 14 in total while also working on electronic and chassis settings to improve his pace on new tyres.
Lorenzo, who turned 23 today who produced a rousing fightback to snatch victory from Pedrosa on the last lap, clocked a best time of 1.39.506 to finish just 0.081s off top spot.
Lorenzo tried a new chassis and he said: “It was an interesting day. Most of all we worked on our starts; I think I did something like 25 starts!
"I do find it quite difficult because the clutch and acceleration aren't always the best parts of our package, but today was good to understand how we can improve.
"We also tried some new electronics, including traction control, and chassis parts, as well as trying a slightly different engine.
"The difference wasn't big but I did notice it, so I think this is the right way. Tomorrow is my birthday and I am looking forward to finally celebrating my win!"
Randy de Puniet and Andrea Dovizioso ended fourth and fifth respectively with former world champion Casey Stoner down in sixth position.
The Aussie logged a best time of 1.39.786 to finish 0.361s off Pedrosa’s pace.
Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 1’39.425
Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha 1’39.480
Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha 1’39.506
Randy De Puniet LRC Honda 1’39.609
Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 1’39.760
Casey Stoner Marlboro Ducati 1’39.786
Nicky Hayden Marlboro Ducati 1’39.906
Ben Spies Yamaha Tech3 1’39.958
Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki 1’40.040
Colin Edwards Yamaha Tech3 1’40.042
Marco Melandri San Carlo Honda 1’40.129
Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda 1’40.370
Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1’40.446
Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki 1’40.463
Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 1’40.470
Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1’40.686
Hector Barbera Aspar MotoGP team 1’40.932