Jorge Lorenzo finished Friday at his home Catalunya MotoGP far more confident than his seventh place on the timesheets would suggest.

The reason was simple: While his rivals fitted a new rear tyre to ensure a top ten place in case of rain on Saturday, Lorenzo worked on race pace with old tyres right to the end.

It meant he dropped from second to seventh in the closing stages of FP2, but the Movistar Yamaha rider is already confident of fighting for his fourth win in a row on Sunday.

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"This track has been a little more difficult to be competitive than the previous three, but finally we did it and we have a great race pace," said Lorenzo, now just six points from team-mate Valentino Rossi and the world championship lead.

"You can see that the pace of the other Yamahas apart from mine is not the same for the moment. But I'm riding good and we made a good job from the morning to the afternoon to improve the stability.

"I was able to keep '42.4-'42.5 with very old tyres. This is the important thing. Finally everybody put a new rear tyre and improved by one second. So because of that we are in seventh place, but we decided not to put this tyre and to work more on the race pace."

Lorenzo set more sub-1m 43s laps (twelve) than any other rider on Friday afternoon and also had a better average pace by several tenths of a second: "Tomorrow the goal is to be one or two tenths faster on pace."

Like Rossi, Lorenzo believes the upgraded Suzuki of Aleix Espargaro - fastest on Friday - will play a major role in qualifying and perhaps the race.

"For sure it is going to be a very tight qualifying and here the Suzuki seems better and they have the soft tyre," Lorenzo said. "Obviously the first row is more easy for the first laps, but if we are in the second row it is ok also.

"It's true that the Suzuki with Aleix seems very strong. Not only for one lap with a new tyre, but more constant than ever. So they have worked very hard to improve their bike. The Honda and Ducati also seem strong here."

Commenting on the bumpy asphalt, Lorenzo added his name to the list of riders hoping the circuit will be resurfaced in the near future.

"For sure today has been a big jump from Mugello, which has a perfect tarmac with a lot of grip and almost no bumps to this track that maybe is around level 4 or 5 out of 10 where Mugello was 9 or 10," he said. "Also it is very bumpy in the braking and obviously it is more difficult to ride in these conditions. It would be much better if they can put a new tarmac with more grip to solve this."