MotoGP championship leader Jorge Lorenzo admitted he was struggling for confidence in his Yamaha after ending Friday practice at Misano nearly seven tenths of a second away from Dani Pedrosa's pace.
Pedrosa was dominant in today's session at the Italian track, with Lorenzo back in third behind both works Hondas.
"Today was quite difficult for us, more so than we expected," Lorenzo said. "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 tires. We have some small problems in braking, corner speed and acceleration so I don't feel like I can ride the way I want to at the moment."
With a comfortable 68-point championship lead under his belt, Lorenzo said he was not too concerned with his position, but was uneasy about the pace gap between himself and Pedrosa.
"We are still third so it's not too bad but we have some time to make up if we are to match Pedrosa," said the Spaniard. "I have great confidence that my team will find the right way to improve and I hope we will be in better shape tomorrow."
Lorenzo's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg conceded that major steps were needed before qualifying.
"There was a small problem at most corners, either the front was too deep or we didn't have enough rear grip, so we need to make a big improvement tomorrow," he said. "We've got some good ideas to find the right solutions but, of course, we need to take care at the same time not to create problems in other areas by making too many changes. Anyway, it's only the first day and we will work hard now to give Jorge the right package tomorrow."
Valentino Rossi was slightly slower than Lorenzo in fourth on the second Yamaha, but much happier with the bike.
"I'm quite happy because we did a good job during today's practice, especially toward the end when we made a big improvement to the setting of the bike and I was able to make some faster lap times," said the Italian.
"We have some more things to try, some electronics and some tire 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 [Andrea] Dovizioso and Lorenzo."
The world champion was also pleased with how his still-healing injuries were coping with the Misano track, a week after his lack of fitness had hampered him at Indianapolis.
"My physical condition is OK, 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," Rossi said.