(CNN) -- Casey Stoner set the pace in Friday's practice session ahead of this weekend's San Marino MotoGP at Misano.
Stoner will be looking to get back on the winning trail after failling in his last two MotoGP's.
The Ducati Marlboro rider was quickest in both sessions and looks well set for a solid result on Sunday as he bids to recover after falls in the last two rounds.
The Australian's accident last time out in the Czech MotoGP at Brno saw the gap to world championship leader Valentino Rossi open up to 50 points as the Italian eased to victory.
Stoner finished the two practice sessions with a best time of one minute 34.806 seconds -- good enough to edge out Rossi's Fiat Yamaha by a little over four tenths of a second.
Rossi spent much of the session trailing the reigning world champion by around a second, but a late burst saw him halve that gap.
However, the Italian insists there is much work to be done ahead of Saturday's qualifying session. "We made quite a good start today but not as good as we could have hoped, so we still have some work to do in order to close the gap to Casey," said Rossi.
"Anyway, we're still second so we're close, but I hope tomorrow to be closer because it seems that everyone is quite competitive here so we're going to have to work hard. We have some ideas and we will see what we can do."
Loris Capirossi was third for Rizla Suzuki, only one tenth off the pace of Rossi, while Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) was fourth ahead of Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki).
Rossi's rookie team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was sixth, almost a second off the pace of Stoner, while Alex de Angelis was seventh for Honda Gresini.
The Tech 3 Yamahas of Colin Edwards and Britain's James Toseland were eighth and 10th respectively, sandwiching Honda's Shinya Nakano. Kawasaki rider John Hopkins did not take to the track due to problems with a rib injury picked up at Brno.