Dani Pedrosa continued to rule the Sepang timesheets during Saturday morning practice, but Yamaha stars Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made big overnight gains.

Fourth (Rossi), sixth (Lorenzo) and one-second behind Pedrosa's Repsol Honda on Friday, Lorenzo was quickest in FP3 until Pedrosa nipped 0.046s ahead on his very final lap.

Rossi finished the session in third and just 0.093s from the top.

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Storm clouds and spots of rain looked set to prompt a quiet session, but conditions eventually improved enough to allow a flurry of fast laps in the closing minutes.

Despite the conditions, Lorenzo set his best lap of the weekend by 0.700s and Rossi by 0.568s.

By contrast, Pedrosa and title leading team-mate Marc Marquez - a cautious seventh this morning, at a circuit where his 2011 Moto2 title hopes ended after falling on a wet section of track - were the only riders in the top twelve not to improve on their Friday times.

Pedrosa was 0.3s slower than on Friday with a cautious Marquez, who only rode for eight laps, 0.8s adrift of his personal best.

Marquez holds a 39 point lead over Lorenzo with four rounds to go. Pedrosa - who fell after contact with Marquez disabled his traction control system at Aragon - is 59 points behind.

Between Rossi and Marquez on the FP3 timesheets were Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda), Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda).

The top ten riders after FP3 (combined times) receive direct access to the second and final part of this afternoon's qualifying session.

Tech 3 Yamaha rookie Bradley Smith claimed the final automatic Q2 place by 0.167s over top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro.

Free Practice 3:
1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Stefan Bradl
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Marc Marquez
8. Andrea Dovizioso
9. Nicky Hayden
10. Bradley Smith
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Andrea Iannone
13. Hector Barbera
14. Yonny Hernandez
15. Hiroshi Aoyama
16. Randy De Puniet
17. Claudio Corti
18. Colin Edwards
19. Danilo Petrucci
20. Luca Scassa
21. Michael Laverty
22. Bryan Staring
23. Damian Cudlin
24. Lukas Pesek