San Carlo Gresini Honda enjoyed a mixed first day of running during free practice for the Australian Grand Prix, with Alex de Angelis managing the third fastest time of the day despite falling in the afternoon.

The San Marino rider is looking to re-establish some decent form after a quiet last few rounds and he went about it in the right way during the first session at Phillip Island as he sat behind just Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi.

Unfortunately for him, the arrival of rain for the second session stymied any meaningful running, while de Angelis was one of a couple of riders to slip off their bike too.

"I'm really pleased with how first free practice went this morning because we rediscovered some of the feeling we'd lost in Japan," de Angelis, who was 11th in the afternoon session, said. "It is obviously only one session and we have to keep working because we still have a lot of other things to try.

"Unfortunately we didn't get chance to do that this afternoon because of the rain and the crash was another setback. Now I'm really looking forward to tomorrow because the forecast is good and I'm keen to get out there and make more progress."

Team-mate Shinya Nakano was another to suffer in the wet second session, dropping from a promising seventh to 15th in the afternoon. Nonetheless, he is remaining confident should the weather be dry for the remainder of the weekend.

"I'm satisfied with the job we did on a dry track this morning although the afternoon was much more difficult because of the rain. We tried a few different things with the tyres but we need to improve the feeling with the bike in the wet and find some more grip if we're going to be fast.

"Now we'll have to wait and see what the weather does tomorrow because deciding which way to go with the setting. I'm comfortable in the dry although we do still need to take some small steps forward with the setting."

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