Franco Morbidelli steered his A-Spec Petronas Yamaha to third place on the Friday practice timesheets for his home Italian MotoGP, despite being left a clear last on the top speed charts.

Morbidelli broke the speed trap in a best of 339.6km/h during the afternoon session, which compared with 357.6km/h by the Pramac Ducati of Michele Pirro.

But the figure that 'shocked' Morbidelli the most was that his 2019-based M1 was some 5.4km/h slower than the next closest bike on the speed charts, the Aprilia of rookie Lorenzo Savadori.

"Definitely, I'm happy to see myself in third position and the fact that when I look at the speed chart, I see myself so far from the top and also so far from the [next fastest rider] gives me pride," Morbidelli said.

"I realise that we are doing something great and this gives me confidence and energy to keep working."

The reigning title runner-up added that the near 20km/h difference to Pirro, "is a shocking number but not as shocking as the difference compared to the [next] fastest bike, 5k.

"There is the whole speed chart [covering rest of the riders] and then there is me 5ks later.

"So here in Mugello it seems that we are struggling a bit more compared to usual. We are working already to find some ways to improve on that."

MotoGP Mugello 2021 | Full FP1 - FP2 RESULTS | Italy GP 2021

But if nothing else, Morbidelli's performance proved once again that being fast at Mugello is about much more than straight-line speed.

"It felt great to ride again here," said Morbidelli, who is chasing his first Mugello podium this weekend. "I had a lot of fun today. Moreover I was fast with the soft tyre and I'm happy about that.

"We need to work a little bit more to see how we are with used tyres, but I think that so far, so good. We started well."

Morbidelli's performance also made him the top Yamaha on day one, just ahead of former team-mate and current world championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha).

The Frenchman's team-mate Maverick Vinales, quickest in the morning session, slipped to eighth overall in the afternoon with Morbidelli's factory-spec team-mate Valentino Rossi only 21st (+1.572s).