Niccolo Canepa reckons only traffic cost him a top ten start in the Italian Grand Prix.
The Pramac Ducati rider has struggled in the early part of his rookie season, but has performed better at Mugello - a circuit he knows well due to his testing duties for Ducati in previous years.
Having qualified last for all of his MotoGP races so far, Canepa was pleased to get up to 13th today, even though a better result had been possible.
"We got closer to the fastest riders, even if I am sure I could have done better today," he said. "On my fastest lap I was slowed down by another rider otherwise I could have easily entered the top ten.
"But the most important thing is the rhythm I maintained all afternoon. If I manage to keep the same level tomorrow in the race we can have a lot of fun."
Technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini said Canepa was showing his true capability now he was finally at a circuit he knew.
"Niccolo knows the track well and this probably gives him more trust to push to the maximum," said Sterlacchini. "As I always said he has a great talent and he will demonstrate it really soon."
While Canepa made progress at Mugello, his team-mate Mika Kallio was slowest in qualifying. The Finn started his rookie season strongly with two top eight finishes in his first two MotoGP races, but has struggled since then and has been off the pace all weekend in Italy.
"Nothing has changed compared to yesterday, we have improved many things without finding a valid solution," he said.
"It has been really hard for me, the bike doesn't follow the lines I want and this makes every turn really difficult.
"It is a really hard weekend for us, maybe the most complicated of the season so far."