Privateer Jules Cluzel made the most of slick conditions to set the pace during 250cc Friday practice for the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The Matteoni Racing rider, a shock second in the damp Qatar season opener, finished a soaking wet opening session at Indy with a comfortable advantage over 2010 MotoGP riders Hector Barbera and Marco Simoncelli.
Barbera (+0.732sec) was the only rider within one second of Cluzel for Pepe World Aprilia, while reigning champion Simoncelli was 1.187sec from the top for Metis Gilera.
Czech Karel Abraham was unharmed in a fast end-of-session fall, having just set the fourth fastest time for Cardion AB Motoracing.
World championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama, who starts round eleven 12 points ahead of Bautista, was a cautious 14th fastest for Scot Honda - although only four places behind Bautista's Aspar Aprilia.
The 250cc class did not get to race at Indianapolis last year, due to the appalling weather.
Friday practice - Indianapolis:
1. Cluzel (Aprilia) 1min 53.512sec
2. Barbera (Aprilia) +0.732sec
3. Simoncelli (Gilera) +1.187sec
4. Abraham (Aprilia) +1.495sec
5. di Meglio (Aprilia) +1.602sec
6. Faubel (Honda) +1.871sec
7. Debon (Aprilia) +1.969sec
8. Locatelli (Gilera) +1.989sec
9. Baldolini (Aprilia) +2.013sec
10. Bautista (Aprilia) +2.047sec