Jorge Lorenzo led a Yamaha one-two during Friday night's final practice for the season-opening Qatar MotoGP at Losail.
After two practice sessions with Honda's reigning world champion Casey Stoner at the top, Lorenzo and satellite M1 rider Cal Crutchlow squeezed ahead of the Australian in the closing minutes of FP3 - but both required the aid of a soft rear tyre.
Former world champion Lorenzo finished 0.154sec ahead of Crutchlow with Stoner 0.372sec from the Spaniard.
"I am very happy with today because we improved a lot on yesterday's lap time," said Lorenzo. "I'm also happy for Cal in second, the bike seems much better than last year for us. I think we have even more potential for improvement tomorrow.
"We still have a few issues to solve, especially corner entry, but we manage to keep a good pace. I'm going to try my hardest for qualifying tomorrow and see what we can do."
"We know exactly what we have to do for tomorrow, if the track improves and we can get the corner entry better then we are ready to race," added Factory Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.
Lorenzo's factory team-mate Ben Spies suffered a crash and then technical problems on his way to eleventh.