Ben Spies ended Friday practice for the French Grand Prix encouraged with his form, despite crashing in the afternoon.
The American has had a poor start to his 2012 MotoGP campaign, with just two 11th places and an eighth to show from the first three rounds. But after taking fifth place for Yamaha in Le Mans practice, Spies reckons he is getting back on course - particularly given that he was able to shrug off his fall and show strong pace on his spare bike and with old tyres.
"Today was OK, to be top five both sessions is good after Estoril, especially here where I've struggled in the past," he said. "I made a small mistake this afternoon, got into Turn 1 pretty fast and was too fast into Turn 2 so couldn't make the corner.
"I got on the second bike and was pleased we were still able to go fast as we had a lot of laps on the front tyre. The bike seems to be working pretty well here so we'll keep going and see what we can do tomorrow."
Spies' teammate Jorge Lorenzo recovered from struggling in morning practice to go third in the afternoon, but fears it will all go to waste if the predicted rain arrives for the rest of the weekend.
"This morning we had some difficulty entering the corners, I didn't trust the bike so much," Lorenzo said. "This afternoon we made some changes to the rear and it improved the feeling and the lap time a lot. I did a half race simulation and we had a good pace.
"We are now ready for a dry race, but everyone says it is going to rain which will completely change the conditions."