Andrea Iannone bounced back after the disappointment of an early fall in FP2 to finish fourth fastest on Friday at Sepang.
The Italian, who got the better of MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi on the final lap at Phillip Island to snatch third place to deny the Movistar Yamaha rider crucial extra points in the title race, was forced to switch to his second GP15 but lapped in 2m 00.486s to end the day two tenths behind Jorge Lorenzo.
Iannone said: “I have a good feeling with the bike but I am disappointed in this afternoon because on my second lap I crashed at corner 9 and I'm not really happy about this, so I'm sorry for the guys.
“I come back to the box and I have to change to my second bike but I am happy with my lap time and also my pace, this is very important for tomorrow.
“I think I am competitive with my bike but the qualifying is the qualifying; I think it is too early [to assess chances of fighting for podium] but I think for now we have a good direction,” added Iannone, who agreed with Rossi in the pre-Sepang press conference that Australian MotoGP winner Marc Marquez had 'played' with them during the race.
“For the moment my pace on the track is good and this makes us hopeful for tomorrow. At the front I always used the medium compound tyre, which will probably be the one we'll use in the race but now it will be important to know if the others have used the same tyre or the hard one.”