Valentino Rossi began his final home MotoGP as a Yamaha rider with fourth place in Friday practice at Misano, located just a few kilometres from his hometown of Tavullia.
The Italian, who has taken one podium from the four races since his return from a broken leg, was 0.767sec behind fastest man Dani Pedrosa - but only 0.155sec from second placed Andrea Dovizioso and less than a tenth from Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, in third.
"I'm quite happy because we did a good job during today's practice, especially towards the end when we made a big improvement to the setting of the bike and I was able to make some faster lap times," said Rossi, who will join Ducati next season.
"We have some more things to try, some electronics and some tyre settings, but I already feel confident so this has been a good way to start. We're quite far from Pedrosa, who was very impressive today, but we're close to Dovizioso and Lorenzo.
"Tomorrow we will try to find some tenths and improve our time a bit.
"My physical condition is okay, I don't have too much pain but this track has two or three hard braking sections to the right and I suffer a bit with my shoulder at those points," he added.