Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo says a lack of rear grip was his biggest issue as he recorded the fifth fastest time during free practice for the Catalunya MotoGP on Friday.

Lorenzo's time of 1m 42.282s was 0.610s down on Aleix Espargaro on the Open class Forward Yamaha, although he set his best lap using the harder compound rear tyre in FP2.

"The bike is working good, acceleration is not so bad with the hard tyre but I think we can improve because the main problem is the acceleration is not so smooth and it is more physical to stay in control of the bike," said Lorenzo.

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"After one or two laps the pace drops a lot for everyone, so I think the one who has a more stable bike and a more easy bike will have a bigger chance, so we have to work on that.

"In the morning it was good so I didn't expect to have so many problems in the afternoon, but the track was much hotter and we had problems with grip and tyre consistency," he added.

"Tomorrow we have to decide which tyre to use in the front and rear and try to make the bike more stable in acceleration."

Lorenzo had led the way for much of FP1 before dropping to second place behind Espargaro, but rising temperatures in the afternoon session saw him finish fourth fastest in FP2 as he ended the day fifth on the combined time sheets, with team-mate Valentino Rossi seventh.

"It's difficult to know who is strongest at the moment because nobody has done a lot of laps in a row, but probably at this moment Marc, myself and Valentino have the best pace - but the others are not so far."