Cal Crutchlow found himself in the unusual position of being the slowest of the Ducati riders during Friday at the French MotoGP.
The Englishman, runner-up in last year's Le Mans event for Tech 3 Yamaha, was only 13th fastest with a best lap time 1.455s behind Honda's Marc Marquez.
Crutchlow later explained that he is losing most of his time braking and turning.
“It wasn't a good day for me; we tried a few different things with the bike but it felt exactly the same as always,” said Crutchlow. “Everything I tried with the settings, the bike feels like it has understeer and I cannot turn, so we lose in the braking area and in turning.
“It seems that nothing we tried at the test at Mugello is working here at the moment, but we have to work with the team tonight and see what we can come up with for tomorrow because I have to improve.”
Crutchlow, who was forced out of the Jerez race with braking problems, added: “We still can't seem to stop the bike as well as we want, but I don't have a safety issue at the moment.”
Pramac's Andrea Iannone was second quickest (+0.007s), whilst running the extra-soft rear tyre, with Crutchlow's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso eighth (+0.665s) and Yonny Hernandez twelfth (+1.425s).
“I am very happy with the pace I had today when I lapped with the same tyres as the other top riders except Marquez,” said Dovizioso. “We are in the group at the front, in amongst the fastest riders, and this is positive. So I'm satisfied with the work we did today, even though I think that we can still improve the set-up.
“At the end of the session I didn't put on another tyre because I had already set a good time and I was sure I was going to be in the top 10. In any case the weekend has started well and my feeling with this track here at Le Mans, is positive as always.”