At the start of another pivotal day that could decide the destination of the MotoGP world championship Marc Marquez led morning warm-up, ahead of title hopefuls Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Setting his fastest time at the beginning of his second run, Marquez's time of 2m 0.186s was three tenths quicker than Lorenzo, who had led the way half way through the session.

Pit lane observers believed Lorenzo was testing the new Yamaha seat unit - debuted by Katsuyuki Nakasuga in the Motegi race - in one of his stints, as he lapped the 3.4 mile track close to a quarter of a second quicker than Rossi.

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Supporting Lorenzo's view, that he is not as fast in the morning as in hotter afternoon temperatures, pole-sitter Dani Pedrosa was fourth fastest, while Andrea Iannone was fifth.

A crash ruined Aleix Espargaro's qualifying run, meaning the Suzuki man will start from eleventh on the grid. Still, he underlined his potential top-six pace by posting the sixth fastest time, with team-mate Maverick Vi?ales marginally slower in seventh.

Just behind, Cal Crutchlow was eighth. Pol Espargaro's session was interrupted by a collision with Hector Barbera on the exit of turn one. The latter saw a gap to pass, aggressively barged through and collected his countryman, much to Espargaro's annoyance.

Still, the 2013 Moto2 champion returned to track having already set the ninth fastest time. Andrea Dovizioso appears to remain some way off his team-mate's pace as he ended warm-up tenth.

Along with the Espargaro-Barbera incident, there was also a spill for Jack Miller, who set the 21st fastest time.

Warm-up:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Andrea Iannone
6. Aleix Espargaro
7. Maverick Vi?ales
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Pol Espargaro
10. Andrea Dovizioso
11. Scott Redding
12. Bradley Smith
13. Danilo Petrucci
14. Hector Barbera
15. Stefan Bradl
16. Yonny Hernandez
17. Nicky Hayden
18. Loris Baz
19. Mike Di Meglio
20. Alvaro Bautista
21. Jack Miller
22. Toni Elias
23. Eugene Laverty
24. Anthony West
25. Damian Cudlin