Suzuki said Alvaro Bautista's time-topping performance at Valencia showed that the team was making genuine progress, even though it was a wet session.
Bautista led the way in the rain this afternoon, and despite the rain having shaken up the order, team boss Paul Denning pointed out that for much of the year wet and cold conditions had actually been Suzuki's weak spot.
"Cold and low grip conditions were always the situation that caused us the most problems and as we saw at Phillip Island a few weeks back – and again today – the steps that Suzuki has taken with the GSV-R have again proven to be very effective," said Denning.
He felt Bautista deserved a lot of credit for today's performance as well.
"Improvements to the motorcycle aren't enough because you also need a confident and capable rider and Alvaro looked very assured and smooth in the full wet conditions this afternoon – it was nice to see his name at the top of the sheets," Denning said.
"I think Alvaro, and everyone else, would prefer some dry, sunny running over the next couple of days, but whatever the weather brings our intention is to push to the maximum and achieve the best result we can."
Bautista said he had been less comfortable as the track dried towards the end of the morning session.
"In this morning's session I had a good feeling at the start, but as the track became drier it wasn't as good and I couldn't ride at the limit," he said. "The bike moved a lot and was spinning-up all over the track, so it was very difficult. In the second session, after the heavy rain, the track was much wetter and the conditions were a lot worse than this morning for all the riders, so it was essential that you rode smoothly and carefully.
"We changed some settings in the bike to help me get a confident feeling in the GSV-R and at the end of the session I was able to find a good rhythm. We finished first today and although it's only the second free practice, you cannot improve as much in the wet as you can in the dry, so this is very good for us."