On paper, Maverick Vinales had a much better opening day at the Italian MotoGP than Monster Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi.

While Rossi could only manage 18th, Vinales popped up to fifth on the timesheets during the time attack at the end of the session.

But afterwards the Spaniard made clear he is far from comfortable.

"In the afternoon I improved my riding. Just by riding the bike, and by trying to make myself smaller around the whole track, is where I found some time," said Vinales, whose best lap was 0.241s from surprise pacesetter Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati).

"But still the bike is very difficult, it's so nervous. I couldn't ride really well. We need to keep working and try to be better tomorrow.

"I'm struggling everywhere, so we need to improve and work in a good way if we want to fight for the race.

"Getting a first or second row for tomorrow will be very important. It's such a long track, so you need to start at the front."

Petronas Yamaha SRT rookie Fabio Quartararo was the quickest M1, in second place.