Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow were both encouraged by the start they'd made to the German Grand Prix weekend after finishing Friday practice in fourth and fifth respectively.

Crutchlow trailed his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate by a tenth of a second and says he knows the areas he needs to find time. Overall, the Briton is optimistic ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session, especially compared to the difficulty he encountered here last year.

“It was a decent start to the weekend and I am not too far away from the best pace in both dry and wet conditions. But I need to make some improvements in the first sector because that is where I am losing a lot of time. It is mainly in the first two corners where I’m struggling and we don’t fully understand why, so tonight I’ll sit down with my crew and analyse the data so we can work on being faster in that part of the track tomorrow. But I am still very happy today because last year this was one of my worst races. I was only 14th and a lot slower than the best pace, but I was close to the front in both sessions and that’s a positive way to kick off the weekend.”

Dovizioso is looking to build on his second podium finish of the season at Assen last weekend and the Italian thinks looking after the tyres will be the key to repeating that result. Having ridden behind pacesetter Dani Pedrosa on track today, Dovizioso is happy with the package he has underneath him as he seeks to challenge the Hondas.

“I am really satisfied with today because I am not so far away in both dry and wet conditions and the lap times are very close in both sessions. Immediately this morning in the dry I had a very good feeling with the YZR-M1 and we concentrated mainly on the race set-up. In the past here I have been very fast in practice but then had a lot of problems in the race, so we have worked a lot on conserving tyre life. This track is very short and you spend a lot of time carrying a lot of lean angle, so it is easy to wear the tyre too quickly. I have been working on carrying a little less lean angle to help save the tyres for the end of the race. I am happy with my pace in the wet also because at the start of the session when the track was at its wettest, I followed Pedrosa and I could comfortably stay with him and he was the fastest in all conditions today. It has been a good start but we need to see what will happen with the weather.”