Newly crowned seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi set the fourth fastest lap time during Friday practice for the 2009 Valencia season finale.
The Fiat Yamaha rider, who hasn't won for three races and hasn't won at Valencia since 2004, had something of a low-key session - briefly leading after ten minutes before spending much of the hour in third place.
Having survived an off-track moment at turn one, Rossi was later bumped back to fourth - behind Casey Stoner (Ducati), Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda) - with a best lap time 0.686sec from the top.
As things stand, Rossi looks to be facing a tough battle to claim his seventh victory of the year on Sunday - and has little reason to put his neck on the line - but the #46 wants to finish the year on a high.
"It's really nice to be riding as the world champion without having to think about points and now I just want to finish the year with a good race,” said the 30-year-old Italian. “Today was not so bad, I'm not happy with fourth but we're not far off and we worked well on the bike.
“We had some different settings to work on to try to improve our performance at this track and then at the end I was able to do some good laps all together. Tomorrow we have quite a lot of work to do, we need to try the harder Bridgestone tyre and try to make another step with the setting, but so far we have done a good job,” he added.