James Toseland reckoned he was on course for a top six placing in Friday practice for the Japanese Grand Prix had he not been baulked on his best lap, but was still delighted with his progress after taking 10th.
Two massive pre-season crashes hampered Toseland's preparation for his second season in MotoGP, but his performanace in today's practice session was his most encouraging of the year so far, despite his traffic delay.
"That was a bit more like it," said Toseland. "Right to the end I was looking good to be around the top six but I caught (Yuki) Takahashi on my last lap when the tyre was working pretty good, so I'm sure I could have got into the 1m49s.
"My guys have done a great job because I had a slightly different setting on the front fork today to get a bit more control under braking. This place is all about hard braking and that is an area I've needed to work on. I've got a bit more control on initial braking so it doesn't upset the bike as much when I'm turning in."
Both Toseland and his team-mate Colin Edwards - who continued his strong recent form in fifth place - focused on tyre evaluation for much of today's session.
"My thinking even yesterday was to start with the hard tyre because we knew it was going to be cold and the forecasts were showing rain for tomorrow, so I needed to get some information in the dry before the race," said Edwards.
"I started out with the hard tyre and didn't change it for the whole session, just switching the same tyre between bikes to play around with the setting.
"I'm sure if I had run the softer compounds I could have gone quicker, but Bridgestone think the hard front and rear will be what I'll need for the race.
"It feels to me like the left side of the tyre is a little bit too hard and I've got to make sure I get it warmed up. The right side feels really good, but you can't take too much risk in the beginning on the left, but once it comes to temperature it works fine."
Toseland added: "I ran most of the session on the hard tyre with the weather not looking too good for tomorrow, but I did try the softer one at the end just to check on it. I doubt we'd be able to run it in the race, even if the temperature is quite low."