Dani Pedrosa is confident of moving forward after being left in fifth position, over one-second from Valentino Rossi, during Friday free practice for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello.
As well as the title-leading Fiat Yamahas, Pedrosa was outpaced by the Suzuki of Loris Capirossi and satellite Yamaha of Colin Edwards, but isn't too concerned at this stage.
"We didn't go crazy testing many things on the first day here in Mugello. We were focused mainly on testing Bridgestone's tyre options because it's very important to get that selection right to find the performance for race distance,” he said.
“The track conditions weren't bad today although the surface was quite slippery, so times will improve. Stability and agility are very important at this circuit and we still need to work on the chassis set-up side to improve these areas.
“We were not especially fast today, but we were not looking for an ultimate lap time either. For the first day of practice we are going in the right direction and tomorrow we can move forward.”
Pedrosa set a new all-time MotoGP top speed record at Mugello last season with 349.3km/h, but was only ninth fastest through the speed trap on Friday at 322.9km/h.
Ducati swept the top five positions, led by Aspar's Hector Barbera with a 339.6km/h, while the top Yamaha was that of Edwards in sixth (330.2km/h).
The fastest RCV was Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, seventh with 325.8km/h, but over the entire lap the Italian was one place lower, in eighth.
"It's my home race and already we can feel the atmosphere building - it's a special event for the Italians here at Mugello,” began Dovi. “To be honest I'd have preferred to have finished closer to the front because it's quite a big gap to the leaders, but with some work on the machine set-up I'm sure we can move forward.
“I was slow mid-corner pretty much everywhere today, and you spend a lot of time leaned over here so that's why we are quite a way off at the moment. The bike feels like it wants to run-on as I'm exiting the corner so this is the area we'll focus on tonight. I'm confident we can improve from this position.”