Casey Stoner proved to be the man to beat in Friday practice for the MotoGP season finale at Valencia.
The Ducati rider, who is chasing a third straight victory, knocked Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo off the top spot with five minutes to go, and then improved his time further to end on a 1m32.813s – 0.4 seconds clear of the field.
Lorenzo briefly lost second to his countryman Dani Pedrosa (Honda) before reclaiming the place by 0.046sec on his last lap.
Fresh from clinching the championship in Malaysia, Valentino Rossi was only fourth, 0.686sec off the pace. The Yamaha rider had a quick trip through the gravel but rejoined without drama or damage.
LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet was among the frontrunners throughout and took fifth, ahead of late improvements from Alex de Angelis (Gresini Honda) and Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha), with Andrea Dovizioso pushed back to eighth on the second factory Honda.
Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi and Stoner's Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden completed the top 10.
World Superbike champion Ben Spies started his Yamaha MotoGP career with 15th place, 2.239sec behind Stoner, although he had been as high as 11th earlier.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap
1. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m32.813s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m33.195s + 0.382s
3. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m33.241s + 0.428s
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m33.499s + 0.686s
5. Randy de Puniet Honda 1m33.910s + 1.097s
6. Alex de Angelis Honda 1m34.106s + 1.293s
7. Colin Edwards Yamaha 1m34.123s + 1.310s
8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m34.382s + 1.569s
9. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m34.427s + 1.614s
10. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m34.462s + 1.649s
11. Mika Kallio Ducati 1m34.696s + 1.883s
12. Marco Melandri Kawasaki 1m34.859s + 2.046s
13. James Toseland Yamaha 1m34.865s + 2.052s
14. Toni Elias Honda 1m34.873s + 2.060s
15. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m35.052s + 2.239s
16. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m35.131s + 2.318s
17. Gabor Talmacsi Honda 1m35.258s + 2.445s
18. Aleix Espargaro Ducati 1m35.458s + 2.645s