Texan Colin Edwards posted the sixth fastest time in a hot and steamy opening free practice session at the Misano World Circuit today.
Joining Edwards in the top ten was his Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammate James Toseland who was ninth and just half a second outside the top four.
Both Edwards and Toseland have carried the momentum of strong performances in last Sunday's Indianapolis GP to their early preparations for the Misano race.
Edwards, who feels he can easily find another half second with a gearing change, held a top four spot until the final minutes of the session as he concentrated on his race day set-up.
Toseland was also in a buoyant mood. The Briton was sixth with five minutes remaining and is confident of maintaining that pace with further gains in rear end grip over the bumpy Misano tarmac.
Track temperatures hit 45 degrees C with the hot weather forecast to continue for this late summer race, round 13 of the MotoGP world championship.
Colin Edwards Speaks... (6th 1.36.350 - 26 laps)
"We got a lot of work done, the bike was very close to begin with and with a rear setting adjustment and a switch to the hard tyres, the bike started feeling really good. But it was hot, it felt like nine million degrees. But the heat wasn't that bad for seven laps runs but if it's like this on Sunday then 28 laps here is going to be tough. I was sitting 4th for a long time and I know some of these guys just mess around the whole session and the catch onto somebody to ado a hot lap at the end. But my bike feels slow. I know we have the same gearing as last year but the bike is not reacting, it feels like there is no bottom end and you have to keep the RPM up and carry astronomical corner speeds. I guess it is the long life engines, we have lost some of the bottom end that Yamaha made such a good step on earlier this year. We plan to shorten the gearing for tomorrow and I reckon I have half a second in three corners just from that."
James Toseland Speaks... (9th 1.36.588 - 27 laps)
"It didn't seem hot on the bike but the humidity was high and that really got to you so its going be pretty physical if it is this temperature on Sunday. You need the bike to work well here because if you are battling with the bike in this temperature then it is hard work. This is one of my better Friday session this season and we started with the Indianapolis set-up and just made some small changes. The bike is a little bit aggressive on the rear over the bumps so we are working to smooth that out. The track is quite bumpy this year but it always is around here and you forget how bad the bumps are. I got up to sixth at one point and then dropped to ninth but only 0.5s off fourth. I'm pleased, a good session for a Friday."