A late burst of track activity saw MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo pull 0.823s clear of the field during a foggy final practice for the US MotoGP at Laguna Seca on Saturday morning.
Visibility was deemed sufficient for the 45-minute session to start on time - but the cold and moist conditions (12 degree air temperature) saw most riders reluctant to leave the pits.
Some were seen in discussion with officials on pit lane, presumably questioning whether it was correct to start the session. The counter argument was that - with visibility sufficient - a slightly damp track (slippery surface flags were raised in places) doesn't justify a delay.
Conditions slowly improved but CRT riders Steve Rapp, Ivan Silva and James Ellison were the only riders to register a lap time during the first half of the session.
Wild-card Rapp - making his and the Attack Performance team's MotoGP debut this weekend - then set his best lap of weekend shortly after, but still faces a battle to get within the 107% qualifying time this afternoon.
Fellow American Ben Spies then became the first manufacturer rider to post a lap, the Factory Yamaha rider soon getting within two-seconds of Dani Pedrosa's Friday best and helping convince most others to attempt a run in the closing ten minutes.
Spies' team-mate Lorenzo took over at the top with five minutes to go, where he remained to the flag.
The Spaniard, who will be shooting for a fourth consecutive US GP pole this afternoon, surprised by effectively matching his Friday best on his way to a 0.823s advantage over Spies.
Newly re-signed Ducati rider Nicky Hayden made it two Americans in the top three, albeit 1.2s from the top, with Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3), Valentino Rossi (Ducati) and Stefan Bradl (Honda LCR) completing a top six covered by 2.3s.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB), Yonny Hernandez (Avintia) and Rapp were the only riders to improve this morning.
Dani Pedrosa - quickest in both Friday sessions on the new RCV - and Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner both sat out the session.
Pedrosa's pace setting 1m 21.088s FP2 lap was 0.4s ahead of Lorenzo's FP3 best.
In terms of combined practice times Pedrosa qoes into qualifying having been 0.334s quicker than Lorenzo so far this weekend, with Stoner +0.369s in third.
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Ben Spies
3. Nicky Hayden
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Valentino Rossi
6. Stefan Bradl
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Randy De Puniet
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Karel Abraham
11. Yonny Hernandez
12. Mattia Pasini
13. Toni Elias
14. Danilo Petrucci
15. Colin Edwards
16. James Ellison
17. Ivan Silva
18. Steve Rapp
19. Michele Pirro
20. Andrea Dovizioso