After arriving at the first six rounds of the MotoGP World Championship unsure of how its M1 would behave, Yamaha now believes it can meet Valentino Rossi's title-winning target of a podium at all remaining rounds.
The five-times premier-class world champion believes the tough podium target is the only way he can realistically defend his crown after an early season blighted by severe handling problems - then compounded by a tyre failure in China and engine failure at Le Mans - which left him nearly two race wins from the top prior to Mugello.
However, a new chassis for the French event had enabled Rossi to dominate the race - and The Doctor underlined the effectiveness of the new frame with his first front row qualifying performance of the season on Saturday in Italy, before starting his championship fight back with his second win of the season on Sunday. Nevertheless, Rossi is still a considerable 34-points behind joint championship leaders Loris Capirossi and Nicky Hayden.
On the other side of Camel Yamaha garage, Colin Edwards first rode with the chassis after Le Mans, but day one rain in Italy saw the #5 decide against racing the development... until he could only qualifier 14th on the original chassis. An nearly race tangle left Edwards twelfth at Mugello, but the Texan got to grips with the new chassis during Monday's test - lapping half a second quicker than in the race and effectively matching Rossi's test time - all of which left team director Davide Brivio confident in the new chassis and the season ahead.
"It has been a good test for both Valentino and Colin. It's been helpful to have some more time to test the new chassis and find the perfect set-up, we need to keep improving and carry on with the momentum!" he said. "It's important to be able to confirm that we've made the right decisions with regards to the direction we're taking, and to see that the package we used in Le Mans and Mugello is the right one for us.
"It's been especially important for Colin because he hasn't had so much time with the new chassis, but today has given him confidence and confirmed that the package Valentino used this weekend works for him too. This bike is now ready to fight competitively for the rest of the season. As Valentino said yesterday, he needs to be on the podium at every race from now on and we hope that our bike is now ready to do just that for both him and Colin," he declared.
At this time last season, Rossi had taken five wins and a second place from the first six rounds to hold a massive 58-point championship lead.
Round seven of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Catalunya on June 18 and marks the start of three races in three weekends.