MotoGP World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo indicated an eighth consecutive Mugello victory for Fuat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi is by no means a forgone conclusion, by leading Friday practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

Lorenzo, who holds a one point lead over Rossi and Casey Stoner heading into round five, dipped under Stoner's 2008 lap record on his way to a 0.195sec advantage over Rossi, with Stoner's Ducati completing a top three covered by just 0.274sec.

Unsurprisingly, given Rossi's incredible record at Mugello, Lorenzo was keeping his feet firmly on the ground, but admitted it had been a great start.

"This is a great start but it's too soon to speak about the race or jump to conclusions; we've only had one practice!" said the Spaniard, who will be chasing his third victory of the season on Sunday. "It's true however that I didn't have any problems today and I felt very happy for the whole session.

"Each time we come to a new track we don't know exactly what to expect because we're still learning the new Bridgestone tyres but at the moment we seem to be fast each time and I feel very comfortable in this period; this is positive.

"It's very hot here, even hotter than in Spain but I am okay with that because we've had too much rain and we all need some sunshine! I hope it will continue like this for the weekend because it's better for everyone."

"We've got the weekend going in the best way, especially because Jorge is already under the lap record which shows how comfortable he is," confirmed team manager Daniele Romagnoli. "We're very happy with the bike but we have already found some areas that we can improve so this will be our task for tomorrow. Let's hope we can keep going in the same way because we know that everyone else will improve as well."