Jorge Lorenzo raised his pace to stay clear of the field during Saturday morning practice for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello, while injured rookie star Marc Marquez fell for a third time this weekend and will be forced to ride in the first part of qualifying.
Yamaha's reigning champion Lorenzo ruled the entire session, setting the first sub-1m 48s lap of the weekend on his way to a 0.250s advantage over title leader Dani Pedrosa.
Pedrosa had been over one-second adrift on Friday, but made significant gains with his Repsol Honda this morning.
By contrast Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi
and Cal Crutchlow - second and third on Friday - failed to improve and dropped down the order to fourth and sixth respectively.
That allowed Stefan Bradl to move into third for LCR Honda, with Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista ahead of Crutchlow in fifth.
As is traditional, home hero Rossi unveiled a special helmet design on Saturday morning at Mugello - a green cartoon turtle!
Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso
(who suffered a neck injury on Friday) Nicky Hayden
and Michele Pirro, plus Aspar CRT rider Aleix Espargaro completed the top ten.
The three manufacturer riders forced to ride in Q1 will be rookies Andrea Iannone, Marquez and Bradley Smith.
Marquez, who suffered a massive accident along the 200mph main straight on Friday afternoon, had been diagnosed with a 'small fracture' in his shoulder after further medical checks this morning.
Also suffering from a heavily swollen chin, the Spaniard then experienced another fall at the halfway stage of this morning - running wide and into a gravel trap, where he was then pitched over the handlebars.
The Moto2 champion fortunately avoided any further injury and returned later in the session, but was left twelfth fastest. Smith, who will require a skin graft for a finger injury suffered in a Friday highside, finished 13th.
Iannone was eleventh while Pramac Ducati team-mate Ducati's Ben Spies has withdrawn from the remainder of the event due to his ongoing shoulder issues, meaning he will miss his third race in a row.Free Practice 3:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Stefan Bradl
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Alvaro Bautista
6. Cal Crutchlow
7. Andrea Dovizioso
8. Nicky Hayden
9. Michele Pirro
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Andrea Iannone
12. Marc Marquez
13. Bradley Smith
14. Hector Barbera
15. Randy De Puniet
16. Colin Edwards
17. Danilo Petrucci
18. Yonny Hernandez
19. Karel Abraham
20. Claudio Corti
21. Lukas Pesek
22. Michael Laverty
23. Hiroshi Aoyama
24. Bryan Staring