James Toseland's final MotoGP weekend got off to a sluggish start after he could only manage the 13th fastest time in free practice for the Valencia Grand Prix.
The Briton begins his last race for the Tech 3 Yamaha team this weekend before switching to the World Superbike Championship, but his hopes of leaving on a high didn't begin as well as he'd hoped.
Admitting that he needed some time to readjust to the Yamaha M1 having been riding the R1 Superbike during testing last week, despite his relatively lowly position, Toseland feels he knows which direction he needs to go on set-up.
“I needed some time to adapt myself back to the bike having done over 200 laps on the R1 in Portimao last week,” he said. “I felt quite strong in the early part of the session. But when I wanted to start picking up the pace and going for some decent lap times I had a problem with the front tyre. There was a bit of a vibration issue and with the changes I lost time.
“The wind made it quite tricky as well today. In some faster sections of the track it was blowing me slightly off line. We gained some good information though and with ideas that we have to improve for tomorrow I'm convinced I can make progress up the timesheets. It is my last race for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I'm determined to finish with a strong result."
Team-mate Colin Edwards
enjoyed a better day, overcoming the physical rigours of the Comunitat Ricardo Tormo to set the seventh fastest time.
“It felt like hard work out there today. This is a physical track and maybe it's just because I'm getting older but the times didn't come easy at the start. But at the end I felt pretty good. We started with two bikes and the first one I went out on I thought it was really good.
“The second bike was set-up based on comments I gave my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and Yamaha in Malaysia and it had different geometry settings. And it really helped the bike turn a lot better. One thing I've been missing a lot this year is the bike turning well. Once I get it leaned over and into the corner, my feeling was the bike was always running straight on for a while. But now when I get into the corner I continue turning instead of going wide.
“Fifth place in the world championship is still up for grabs on Sunday and while it is a tall order, I'll be giving it my all for Monster Yamaha Tech 3. Those four guys at the front are in a different league and I need (Andrea) Dovizioso to have a bad weekend, but I won't be holding back."