MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo closed the gap to the pace-setting Repsol Hondas during Saturday morning's final free practice in Austin, Texas.
Lorenzo halved his previous gap to the top to 0.8s as he also moved into a weekend best third place, behind Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
"I'm very happy with the improvement of the bike we achieved this morning,” said Lorenzo. “This third free practice session was much better than yesterday but on the other side we have a little disadvantage to Dani. This morning we tried to improve the rear tyre grip: now I am feeling better on the bike but we are still missing something.
“Anyway, we are improving little by little and this is the positive thing. We still have to work before qualifying in order to reduce the gap as much as possible. Let's see if we can make one more step to get a good position on the starting grid tomorrow. First row is the target".
While Lorenzo made some progress, team-mate Valentino Rossi remained 1.8s from the front, causing the Italian star to slip back to seventh.
“Our position after FP3 is not fantastic, although we were just focused on finding the right balance and setting for this afternoon's qualifying session. We tried some different weight distributions and some different settings: some of them worked, some others didn't, but it was an important work for this afternoon. Now we will try to put everything together and give our best at 2pm".
A 30-minute fourth practice session will take place prior to the start of qualifying.