Cal Crutchlow, who starts the final MotoGP round of the season with a one-point advantage over fellow rookie Karel Abraham, began a wet Valencia event with tenth overall in Friday practice.
The best times were set in the damp morning session, when the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was three places higher than Abraham. But Crutchlow was happiest in the fully wet conditions of the afternoon, when he was fifth fastest – just behind Abraham, who fell.
“Today was a positive start to the weekend and I think I could have gone a fair bit quicker at the end of this afternoon's session and been challenging for the top three but I made a couple of small mistakes on my last lap," said Crutchlow, who led the session at one stage.
"But I was still fifth fastest though and I felt pretty comfortable in the full wet conditions. I am happy enough even though the track hasn't got much grip at all. It was very slippery and you've got to be careful because it is easy to make a mistake. But the bike definitely felt better in the full wet rather than when it was a bit sketchy this morning.
"I just hope we get a dry session tomorrow to get some time on the bike in the dry. Nobody wants to be starting the race with no dry track time, so we'll have to see what happens with the weather. If it is wet tomorrow I'm sure we can make some improvements and go a bit faster.”