Marc Marquez continued to set the pace in third practice for the GP of the Americas at Austin, but Andrea Iannone was able to keep the two-time MotoGP champion honest.
Once again, it was Marquez who was first to break through his own Friday pace when Saturday's action at the Circuit of the Americas commenced, the Honda man setting a best time of 2m03.885s that stood as the benchmark for the majority of the session.
That gave the Spaniard a margin of six tenths of a second over Iannone's Ducati, and Marquez was able to shave a few hundredths off his earlier effort with three minutes remaining with a 2m03.861s.
Shortly after, Iannone reduced Marquez's advantage to just 0.098s with a blistering lap of his own, but the gap between the duo was back up to 0.198s after the chequered flag as Marquez finally worked his way down to a 2m03.741s.
Some fourth tenths further back in third was Jorge Lorenzo aboard the best of the Yamahas, the Spaniard demoting compatriot Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) with a lap just 0.005s faster on his final lap of the session.
Cal Crutchlow had briefly put his LCR Honda third in the closing stages before the late improvements from Lorenzo and Vinales, having to settle for fifth, with Valentino Rossi completing the top half-dozen on the second factory Yamaha with a time 0.709s adrift of Marquez.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and an impressive Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati) were next up, ahead of the second factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso - who suffered a crash at Turn 11 on his way to the ninth best time, exactly a second off the pace.
The last man to seal his automatic Q2 slot was Pramac Ducati's Scott Redding at the chequered flag, pushing out Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha).
The Spaniard will thus have to fight his way through Q1 along with brother Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki), Hector Barbera on the slower of the Avintia bikes and Bradley Smith - who struggled badly and could do no better than 19th on his Tech 3 Yamaha, some 2.2s off the pace.
|1||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||2:03.741||2:03.741|
|2||Andrea Iannone||Ducati Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP16||2:03.937||+0.196|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:04.331||+0.590|
|4||Maverick Viñales||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:04.336||+0.595|
|5||Cal Crutchlow||Team LCR||Honda RC213V||2:04.408||+0.667|
|6||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:04.450||+0.709|
|7||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||2:04.524||+0.783|
|8||Loris Baz||Avintia Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:04.576||+0.835|
|9||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP16||2:04.741||+1.000|
|10||Scott Redding||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||Ducati Desmosedici GP15||2:04.769||+1.028|
|11||Pol Espargaro||Tech 3||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:04.783||+1.042|
|12||Aleix Espargaro||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:05.061||+1.320|
|13||Hector Barbera||Avintia Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:05.207||+1.466|
|14||Michele Pirro||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||Ducati Desmosedici GP15||2:05.288||+1.547|
|15||Yonny Hernandez||Aspar Racing Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:05.378||+1.637|
|16||Stefan Bradl||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia RS-GP||2:05.616||+1.875|
|17||Jack Miller||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda RC213V||2:05.684||+1.943|
|18||Bradley Smith||Tech 3||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:05.962||+2.221|
|19||Eugene Laverty||Aspar Racing Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:06.179||+2.438|
|20||Tito Rabat||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda RC213V||2:06.444||+2.703|
|21||Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia RS-GP||2:06.488||+2.747|