Jorge Lorenzo is confident he can fight for his first win since July's Mugello round after making radical progress during Friday practice at Misano.
Yamaha's reigning world champion, who now trails Casey Stoner by 44 points after two tough events, moved from sixth and one-second from Stoner in FP1, to finish FP2 0.076 ahead of the Repsol Honda rider.
Lorenzo improved on his morning time by 1.2sec, while Stoner improved by 0.175sec.
“I feel much more comfortable on the bike this afternoon with the changes we made," said Lorenzo. "The setting we made is very similar to the Mugello one and there I won the race.
"To be honest I didn't expect so much change because we improved more than one second. We are now quite close to a victory I think. Casey and Dani [Pedrosa, third] are still so fast but at least we are there with them.”
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg explained how Lorenzo's M1 had improved.
“We analysed the morning session well, the guys worked hard and we changed the bike a lot for the second session. We had better traction and Jorge could stop the bike a lot better than this morning," he said.
"We improved over a second but we still have some issues. Now we are up there and ready to improve a little more tomorrow. It was a tough afternoon but the guys did really well to deliver the package.”
Lorenzo's team mate Ben Spies was one of the men to beat in the morning session, when he was pipped to the top by Stoner on his final lap.
The afternoon practice was spent trying a number of different set ups for rider position, the Texan ending in fifth 0.540 seconds from Lorenzo. Spies was the only rider not to improve in the afternoon.
“Not bad today, it wasn't a great second session but we had to try a lot of things," said Spies. "We've been working a little bit on rider position since before Indy and we came up with a good direction for me. We tried to go more in that way this afternoon but it was too much so we lost a bit of the second session on it.
"Other than that we tried all the tyres we wanted to and went pretty fast with quite a lot of laps on them. Overall a positive day, we tried some stuff that worked and some stuff that didn't. We need to work harder for tomorrow and improve some grip levels but the overall feel and speed I'm happy with.”