Hector Barbera's Italian Grand Prix adventure got off to a mixed start as he shrugged off a dramatic accident to set the fourth fastest time of the day at Mugello.
The Spaniard was in the midst of a long run on Bridgestone's hard compound tyre when he came off the Pramac Ducati, the machine proceeding to drag debris and gravel across the circuit to necessitate a red flag.
Aided by the delay to proceedings, Barbera was able to make it back out before the end of the session and duly marked his return by leaping back up the timesheets to fourth - with a soft rear tyre - after lapping less than two tenths from pace setter Jorge Lorenzo, much to his delight.
“I'm happy about these sessions and I'm feeling quite good, even if I crashed out. We were making a long run to test the new tyre compound, when I crashed. I didn't have a great feeling while I was trying the new tyre, but I decided to try and finish the long run to understand the new Bridgestone's potential.
“Unfortunately, after a few laps, I crashed in the gravel at high speed but I escaped relatively unscathed. In the last minutes of the afternoon session I used a new soft tyre and this allowed me to regain the confidence with my Ducati, storming into the top four.”