Jorge Lorenzo boosted his hopes of winning the final race of his 2010 MotoGP championship season, and last race as team-mate to Valentino Rossi, by leading Friday practice at Valencia.
Lorenzo had a strong morning practice, finishing second behind Ducati's Casey Stoner, but the 23-year-old made some significant steps this afternoon and his final lap put him two tenths ahead of Stoner in the combined standings.
"Today was a good day. We started strongly from the first moment and I am feeling so confident, plus my bike is working very well here," said Lorenzo, winner of eight races this year.
"We need to continue like this tomorrow and make a few small steps forward with our setting.
"I am so happy to be riding at home again, in front of the Spanish fans here at Cheste as the World Champion. I hope we are strong again tomorrow where I have a very special helmet to show everyone!"
Fiat Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg hopes to provide his rider with some more rear grip on Saturday.
"We need to focus a bit on rear grip because the temperature is quite low. Normally we have a bit of issue on the corner entry but in fact that's fine at the moment and instead we're lacking a bit of grip on the exit of the corner, so that will be our main target for tomorrow," he revealed.
"We compared both bikes and tried some different set-ups and it's clear that one is a lot better than the other, which we're pleased about because it's the one we expected it to be. It's the right direction for the race and for 2011."
Rossi, who will race for Ducati next season, was only ninth fastest.