Valentino Rossi is eager to see if his wet-weather podium in France and Ducati's promising Mugello test translate into a genuine step forward in this weekend's Catalunya Grand Prix.
Second place in the rain at Le Mans was Rossi's best MotoGP result since he moved to Ducati at the start of 2011, and ended a 12-month wait for his second podium finish with the squad. The Italian also felt Ducati made good progress in testing last week, but wants to see if that carries through to a tangible upturn in performance in Spain.
"Two Sundays ago, we got a nice result because we took advantage of the wet track, a condition in which we know we can be competitive, but we're aware that we must continue improving in normal, dry conditions," said Rossi.
"Some of the things we tried in the Mugello test last week seemed promising. It will be interesting to try them on a different track, and with much less time to set the bike up, to see if they're really a small step forward."
Rossi is staying realistic about his chances, and hoping to just be near the leaders rather than predicting a repeat of his French GP result.
"The Catalunya circuit has always been one of my favorites, and although it's hard to imagine another podium, we must still do our best to finish with the front riders," said Rossi, who has won at Catalunya six times in his MotoGP career, most recently with Yamaha in 2009.