Jorge Lorenzo is feeling upbeat and confident of challenging for victory at Misano this weekend after a positive Friday.
The Movistar Yamaha rider is aiming to put a run of poor results behind him in San Marino on Sunday and Lorenzo was in good spirits after making sound progress with the set-up of the factory YZR-M1 during free practice at the Marco Simoncelli Circuit.
The reigning MotoGP world champion was fourth fastest overall but felt he could have been five to seven tenths quicker if he had opted to fit a fresh tyre at the end of FP2.
Lorenzo, who set his best time in 1m 33.056s in the afternoon – 0.287s behind Pol Espargaro on the satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha – said he has a much better feeling with the M1 at Misano.
“Yes, it was a very good day, especially this afternoon. Finally it looks like we found the way with the setting of the bike and we feel much better and much more comfortable to keep a constant pace, a fast pace.
“I'm very happy with this fourth position because we were the only ones who didn't put a new tyre at the end and even like that I was fast. With a new tyre we could be five or seven tenths faster. We gained a lot of confidence and let's see tomorrow if we can do another step forward.”
Lorenzo switched to the softer rear tyre in the afternoon and felt it was significantly better than the harder Michelin in the cooler temperatures.
“This afternoon was quite cold so I changed to the softer tyre because I didn't feel very good with the hard rear tyre. With the soft, it was much better and then with the setting we made a big step forward and finally here we are with good pace and the potential to fight for the win,” he said.
“I think [the soft rear] will last the race: the bike is better than Silverstone for example and some riders used the soft tyre at Silverstone. We tried the soft and the medium front tyre and the three tyres here have new casing, but we didn't try the hardest one. The medium was okay but we couldn't compare with the old tyres because here we have these type of tyres.”
A number of riders crashed during FP1 including Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone, with the Italian rider doubtful for Ducati's home race as a result, and Lorenzo says he was also fortunate to avoid coming off himself.
“Especially in the morning with the soft front tyre and probably a dirtier track you need to be careful; in the afternoon the situation improved a little with the new front tyre, so yes in some corners you needed to be careful and I was lucky to stay on the bike in the morning.”