Motegi polesitter Andrea Dovizioso started his Japanese Grand Prix race day in encouraging style by topping the morning warm-up.
Ducati's Casey Stoner had been quickest for most of the session, but the Australian was usurped by Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and then Dovizioso's Honda in the final minutes - with just 0.001 second separating Dovizioso and Lorenzo.
Behind Stoner, Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards was fourth, in front of Valentino Rossi on the second works bike, although Edwards' teammate Ben Spies was a surprisingly lowly 15th.
Marco Simoncelli completed the top six for Gresini Honda, followed by LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet, the Suzukis of Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista, and Marco Melandri on the other Gresini entry.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m47.775s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m47.776s + 0.001s
3. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m48.007s + 0.232s
4. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m48.384s + 0.609s
5. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m48.440s + 0.665s
6. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m48.478s + 0.703s
7. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m48.792s + 1.017s
8. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m48.804s + 1.029s
9. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m48.906s + 1.131s
10. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m49.009s + 1.234s
11. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m49.110s + 1.335s
12. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 1m49.156s + 1.381s
13. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m49.229s + 1.454s
14. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m49.317s + 1.542s
15. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m49.400s + 1.625s
16. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m49.628s + 1.853s