Andrea Iannone expected to be closer to the top at the conclusion of day one of the Valencia MotoGP as the Ducati rider finished fourth on the combined free practice times.
The Italian had been seventh quickest in the morning after using the medium rear Bridgestone but improved to third fastest in FP2 on the soft rear, setting his best lap in 1m 31.44s as he finished three tenths behind pacesetter Jorge Lorenzo.
Iannone, who is battling for fourth place in the championship standings with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, said that although he was further behind the fastest riders than he had anticipated, he was satisfied with his efforts at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Spain on Friday nonetheless.
“In the end it was a good day, but to be honest I expected to struggle less and be a bit closer to the leaders,” said Iannone.
“In any case I am quite satisfied because the weekend has just begun and we managed to improve from this morning by only making a few small modifications, which were very beneficial.
"We got closer to the front and so we will continue in this direction to gain some more tenths, in order to be ready for Sunday.”
Iannone is two points behind Pedrosa in the championship standings ahead of Sunday's finale.