Ben Spies set the pace in the second practice session for the Dutch TT at Assen with the fastest time of the day in 1m34.866s.
The under-fire American, who scored his first grand prix victory at the venue 12 months ago, was in the hunt for much of the second half of the 45-minute session and just edged out Cal Crutchlow in the final stages. Spies and the Tech 3 Yamaha rider were split in the end by just 0.006sec, while the first 11 riders were all covered by less than 0.5sec.
Completing a surprising top order, Nicky Hayden emphasized the progress made by Ducati recently by going third fastest ahead of Alvaro Bautista's Gresini Honda; the fastest of the RC213V riders.
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo looked unruffled in fifth, just 0.191sec off the pace, having been at the sharp end for much of the session as he worked through long runs, while Honda's Dani Pedrosa (sixth) also spent a period of time at the top of the list.
Andrea Dovizioso was seventh fastest for Tech 3 ahead of Valentino Rossi, who was more than 0.3s off his Ducati teammate Hayden. Hector Barbera was ninth, the Spaniard recovering from a fall at Turn 10 when the front-end of his Pramac Ducati washed away inside the first five minutes of the session.
MotoGP champion Casey Stoner could only manage 10th place, the Honda rider spending much of the session evaluating different Brigestones and making repeated trips to his pit garage.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m34.866s
2. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.872s + 0.006s
3. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m34.968s + 0.102s
4. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m35.008s + 0.142s
5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m35.057s + 0.191s
6. Daniel Pedrosa Honda 1m35.080s + 0.214s
7. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m35.257s + 0.391s
8. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m35.296s + 0.430s
9. Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 1m35.298s + 0.432s
10. Casey Stoner Honda 1m35.304s + 0.438s
11. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m35.337s + 0.471s
12. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m36.615s + 1.749s
13. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m36.871s + 2.005s
14. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m37.057s + 2.191s
15. Yonni Hernandez Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m37.572s + 2.706s
16. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m37.628s + 2.762s
17. Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 1m37.657s + 2.791s
18. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW 1m37.669s + 2.803s
19. James Ellison Forward Suter-BMW 1m37.973s + 3.107s
20. Ivan Silva Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 1m38.279s + 3.413s
21. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 1m38.373s + 3.507s