Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was a surprise eighth fastest during the opening MotoGP free practice session under the floodlights at the Losail circuit in Qatar, with the Spaniard admitting: 'Today wasn't our day'.
Pedrosa, an ever present figure at the sharp end of the times during pre-season testing, mustered a quickest lap on his factory RC213V of 1m 57.749s to end FP1 with a deficit of 1.064s to reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha M1.
Last year's series runner-up, who ran off the circuit three times, revealed he had encountered problems with corner entry.
“I had some issue with the entry of the corner," said Pedrosa. "I don't know why. I missed the corner three times in the same spot. Something... I hope we can fix it for tomorrow. Today wasn't our best day."
Pedrosa's team-mate and exciting rookie Marc Marquez was fourth, lapping in 1m 57.276s.
The reigning Moto2 world champion had peaked in third position before slipping one place behind the leading trio of Yamaha riders Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi.
Marquez, who was 0.591s down on Lorenzo, admitted to feeling some nerves as he prepares for his full MotoGP race debut on Sunday.
“The truth is that I was a little nervous - above all at the start - but that's normal,” he said. “I got over that and set about the practice just like we did in Moto2 last season - working hard with a focus on the race.
“I made steady improvement and felt good, which is important at the start but we must remember that this is just the beginning,” added Marquez.
“The grip levels improve a lot during a GP weekend, and thus we will have to keep working on the set-up.”