2010 MotoGP World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo began the French Grand Prix weekend with third place on the Friday timesheets, just 0.14sec behind pace-setting Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo, who recently turned 23, was masterful in the wet at Le Mans last year and looked equally happy in today's sunshine, overcoming a small electronics problem at the start to find a good setting and turn out a string of laps in the 1min 34sec range.

"At the start of the session we had a small problem on one bike with the electronics but we swapped to the other bike and things were okay from there," said the Jerez winner. "Little by little I found a good pace and at the end I was able to do a lot of laps in the '34s. The bike feels good here - as everyone says it is always a good track for Yamaha - and although we are still struggling a bit in the acceleration I am feeling good."

"We're pleased with our start today and we were very consistent in practice," added team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. "We had a few small problems at the beginning but we solved them quickly and then worked on two different settings, comparing them and finding some plus and minus points to both. Jorge's lap time is already good and he's third and very close. Tomorrow we will look at ways to make some more small steps to hopefully gain a couple of tenths, but this is a good start."

Lorenzo starts the weekend four points clear of Rossi.