Andrea Iannone maximised the extra soft rear tyre to finish third fastest at Motegi on Friday as the Italian began his preparations for the Japanese MotoGP on a high.

Iannone says he is operating at only 70 per-cent fitness after he suffered a recent should dislocation for the second time this season, but it didn't show as the factory Ducati rider went second fastest in FP1 before retaining a top three place in the afternoon on the GP15.

His best lap of 1m 45.043s in FP2 put him within three tenths of pacesetter Jorge Lorenzo and Iannone, who is fourth in the championship standings overall - 12 points behind Marc Marquez - said the Twin Ring circuit highlights the 'strong points' of the Ducati.

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"Today was quite a positive day for me. We were competitive right out of the box this morning and our bikes proved to be fast and have a good performance," he said.

"This is very important for the work that we are doing and for the way my bike behaves: I think that this circuit manages to highlight our strong points, and so we are satisfied.

"Let's hope we can continue along this path tomorrow, improve a bit more and always be as close as possible to the guys at the front."

Iannone's team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, was 0.184s behind his team-mate in fifth.