5 days after the exhausting Indianapolis Grand Prix, practice for this weekends Misano Grand Prix got underway this afternoon. And hoping to improve on last weekends results are FIAT Yamaha riders, championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. The pairing finished 3rd and 4th last weekend, and finished today’s Free Practice session in the same order.

And despite claiming a top 3 finish this afternoon, Lorenzo was unhappy with the result. The Spaniard was unable to get the correct balance on the bike, as well as struggling to get any grip out of the rear Bridgestone tyres. “Today was quite difficult for us, more so than we expected.” said Lorenzo.

“It’s not my physical condition, I feel completely recovered from the hard weekend in Indianapolis, but we really struggled today and I didn’t have enough confidence in my bike or in the tyres. We have some small problems in braking, corner speed and acceleration so I don’t feel like I can ride how I want to at the moment. We are still third so it’s not too bad but we have some time to make up if we are to match Pedrosa. I have great confidence that my team will find the right way to improve and I hope we will be in better shape tomorrow.”

He has it all to do tomorrow in order to be competitive. One man who feels he has the setup to be competitive already is Valentino Rossi. The Italian, in his home race this weekend, was under a tenth of a second behind his team-mate. Speaking after the session, Rossi was upbeat about his chances.

“I’m quite happy because we did a good job during today’s practice, especially towards the end when we made a big improvement to the setting of the bike and I was able to make some faster lap times. We have some more things to try, some electronics and some tyre settings, but I already feel confident so this has been a good way to start. We’re quite far from Pedrosa, who was very impressive today, but we’re close to Dovizioso and Lorenzo. Tomorrow we will try to find some tenths and improve our time a bit. My physical condition is okay, I don’t have too much pain but this track has two or three hard braking sections to the right and I suffer a bit with my shoulder at those points.”