Casey Stoner began his bid for a sixth straight home MotoGP victory in ominous fashion by blitzing the field in first practice at Phillip Island.
Yamaha's championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was the only rider able to get within one second of the Australian, while the session's two slowest riders were outside the 107 percent mark.
The Australian, who admitted his injuries had worsened coming into his home track, wasted little time getting up to speed. Within four laps he had got down to a 1m31.046s, which itself would have been good enough to seal top spot.
After Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and then Lorenzo got close to that benchmark in the final 10 minutes however he shaved more than half a second off his previous best, ending with a 1m30.374s. Lorenzo and Pedrosa were left trailing as a result, while the rest of the field were more than 1.5sec in arrears.
Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso was fourth fastest ahead of Gresini's Andrea Bautista and teammate Cal Crutchlow, struggling with bronchitis and fever this weekend.
Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi then occupied seventh and ninth, sandwiching the LCR Honda of Stefan Bradl. Rossi, like Stoner a five-time winner at the circuit, was 2.2sec down on the overall pace.
Alongside a short shower around the halfway mark, which led to a temporary lull in proceedings, there were precious few incidents.
Pedrosa almost suffered a massive highside, however, as Crutchlow – only yards ahead on the circuit – hit a wet patch with his knee, flicking up a spray which surprised Pedrosa and forced him to snatch at his bike, causing a wobble he was ultimately able to save.
The incident followed moments after Gresini's Michele Pirro, confirmed as Ducati's official test rider next year, suffered his own highside exiting Honda hairpin. He was able to hold on but veered off track and went down in the grass.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m30.374s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m31.279s + 0.905s
3. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m31.533s + 1.159s
4. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m31.968s + 1.594s
5. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m32.039s + 1.665s
6. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m32.199s + 1.825s
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m32.312s + 1.938s
8. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m32.356s + 1.982s
9. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m32.655s + 2.281s
10. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m33.266s + 2.892s
11. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m33.376s + 3.002s
12. Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 1m33.671s + 3.297s
13. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m33.727s + 3.353s
14. Roberto Rolfo Speed Master Aprilia 1m35.170s + 4.796s
15. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m35.200s + 4.826s
16. Danilo Petrucci Ioda Suter-BMW 1m35.411s + 5.037s
17. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 1m35.427s + 5.053s
18. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW 1m35.715s + 5.341s
19. Ivan Silva Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m37.352s + 6.978s
20. Kris McLaren Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m40.657s + 10.283s