Jorge Lorenzo began the final MotoGP pre-season test as the top Yamaha rider, but only sixth fastest during the opening night in Qatar.

The Spaniard had been ranked second only to Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez at the final Sepang test. However a slippery Losail circuit and lack of confidence in the rear tyre left Lorenzo 0.563s from Ducati's Andrea Iannone on Saturday.

"To be honest today has been difficult to be fast," Lorenzo said. "Everyone has been quite a bit slower that last year. The track looks more slippery, for example the kerbs are slippery and also bumpy.

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"Especially entering the corner with the rear tyre, I still don't have enough confidence to go quicker. That is the main target for tomorrow and try to be faster in general."

Team-mate Valentino Rossi was eighth (+0.673s) after an early fall.

Testing for the race riders continues on Sunday and Monday, with the opening round of the championship at Losail on March 26-29.