Dani Pedrosa finally made progress towards improving the corner entry issues that have so far hampered his Qatar MotoGP weekend.
The 2012 title runner-up, a consistent pace setter in winter testing, was just eighth on Thursday practice and only gained one place during the opening Friday night session.
But the Spaniard set a higher pace from the start of FP3, which saw him feature third during the middle stages before concluding the session in sixth. Pedrosa lapped 0.4s behind rookie team-mate Marc Marquez, who topped the standings.
"We improved a little today,” said Pedrosa, who has taken to the run-off area at turn one during every session so far. “In the first practice tonight I still didn't improve the feeling, but in the second one it felt better straight away.
“We changed some things on the front. It was a little more rideable. We are faster and entering corners better, but we've still got a way to go.
“Tomorrow I hope to improve my pace for qualifying. I'm also looking for a bit more rear gip. The track condition is quite bad and the tyre position is not clear. Most riders are going for the soft tyre because the hard is not giving any grip.”