Cal Crutchlow had to settle for fifth on the time sheets during free practice for the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang after rain thwarted the afternoon session.
The British star, who suffered heartbreak at Motegi when his Tech 3 Yamaha ran out of fuel on the final lap as he battled for a podium position, clocked a best lap of 2m 02.266s that left him just 0.030s behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
Crutchlow was content with his pace in the hot and humid dry conditions in the morning, but his chance to improve on his time later in the day was lost when a heavy rain shower led to mixed track conditions.
“It was a shame the rain meant I didn't get to go out on track for the second session because I had some work to do to improve the bike,” said the 26-year-old.
“I felt confident right from the start this morning and even though I wasn't pushing that hard because the track was quite greasy, the lap time still came quite easy.
“Hopefully tomorrow we will have better luck with the weather and we can focus on improving the bike for the race.”