British star Cal Crutchlow commenced his bid for a podium result at Brno in the Czech Republic in convincing style as he ended the opening day in fourth place on the time sheets.
Crutchlow was just 0.160s behind his Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP team-mate Andrea Dovizioso as he upped his pace in the afternoon session despite the stifling heat.
The 26-year-old, whose future in MotoGP in 2013 appears uncertain after Dovizioso's move to the factory Ducati squad alongside Nicky Hayden was confirmed this week, believes he can make 'definite' improvements during final qualifying tomorrow.
“Today wasn't a bad start to the weekend because I was fourth in both sessions and very close to Andrea,” said Crutchlow.
“But we can definitely make some improvements to the bike. This afternoon I struggled quite a lot with the hard tyre and we need to have a look at the data closely to get more of an understanding why.
“I've got good pace on the soft tyre and I'm convinced I can be a bit quicker because I didn't put in a soft tyre until right at the end of this afternoon's session,” he added.
“I feel confident for tomorrow and am sure we can challenge for a decent grid position for Sunday.”