Jorge Lorenzo will go into final practice and qualifying at Valencia on Saturday perfectly poised after climbing to the top of the MotoGP leader board in FP2.
Lorenzo was two tenths faster than Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa as the Majorcan clocked the best lap on day one of the championship finale in Spain with a time of 1m 31.111s.
Using the medium rear Bridgestone, the 28-year-old set his best speed on new tyres on the Movistar Yamaha in the final 10 minutes of the session and remained there to sign off on top.
Pedrosa left it late to jump from sixth into second place on the RCV, setting a time of 1m 31.377s as he finished 0.266s in arrears.
Ducati's Andrea Iannone was a big improver from FP1 as he maximised the soft rear tyre to shoot into third, only 0.067s behind Pedrosa, while championship leader Valentino Rossi slotted into fourth with a lap in 1m 31.475s.
Rossi, who holds a slender seven-point advantage over team-mate Lorenzo ahead of his back-of-the-grid start on Sunday, swapped places at the head of the time-sheets early in the session with Marc Marquez and appeared on course to finish second fastest at least on his final circuit before losing three tenths in the final part of the lap.
The Doctor has vowed to participate in qualifying on Saturday as normal despite his grid penalty and is set to compete in Q2 alongside his key rivals.
Marquez, who held sway with 10 minutes remaining, was unable to make significant inroads on new rubber at the end of the session on the Repsol Honda as the outgoing world champion ended fifth fastest.
However, the 22-year-old was second quickest overall on the combined times on Friday after leading the way in FP1 with a lap in 1m 31.250s.
Danilo Petrucci impressed on the Pramac Ducati as the Italian completed the top six, 0.464s behind Lorenzo, with Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and his brother Aleix on the Ecstar Suzuki seventh and eighth respectively.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Suzuki's Maverick Vinales, who crashed in FP1, came next as eight tenths covered the first ten in the afternoon standings.
Avintia Racing's Hector Barbera was the leading Open contender on the Ducati GP14.2, nine tenths off the top, with Ducati test rider Michele Pirro 12th fastest and 1.2 seconds adrift of Lorenzo.
Andrea Dovizioso tumbled down the classification on the Ducati GP15 into 15th place behind Yonny Hernandez on the satellite Pramac Ducati, while Bradley Smith was another notable name in an uncharacteristic position on the time-sheets in 15th on the second of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines.
American Nicky Hayden, competing in his final MotoGP weekend before his switch to World Superbikes in 2016, was 16th on the Aspar Honda ahead of Loris Baz (Forward Yamaha) and Jack Miller (LCR Honda), while Scott Redding was 21st on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda and Ireland's Eugene Laverty (Aspar Honda) 24th.
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Andrea Iannone
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Marc Marquez
6. Danilo Petrucci
7. Pol Espargaro
8. Aleix Espargaro
9. Cal Crutchlow
10. Maverick Viñales
11. Hector Barbera
12. Michele Pirro
13. Yonny Hernandez
14. Andrea Dovizioso
15. Bradley Smith
16. Nicky Hayden
17. Loris Baz
18. Jack Miller
19. Stefan Bradl
20. Alvaro Bautista
21. Scott Redding
22. Mike Di Meglio
23. Toni Elias
24. Eugene Laverty
25. Anthony West
26. Broc Parkes