Jorge Lorenzo narrowly eclipsed Dani Pedrosa to top the timesheets in Friday's second practice session at Sepang, as points leader Valentino Rossi struggled to eighth.
Lorenzo's best time came at the tail-end of a session dominated by Pedrosa, who became the first rider to dip beneath the 2m01s mark early on when he ousted Honda teammate Marc Marquez from the top spot with a 2m00.835s.
It wasn't until the last five minutes of the 45-minute session that Pedrosa's benchmark would be threatened, as Yamaha rider Lorenzo recorded the fastest lap of the weekend yet, a 2m00.246s, to snatch the top spot.
Pedrosa quickly responded, shaving half a second off his personal best to set a 2m00.369s, and had hooked up three outright best sectors on his next tour - only to lose time in the last sector and fall short of Lorenzo by 0.047s.
Marquez wound up third on a 2m00.472s, ahead of Ducati's Andrea Iannone, who suffered an early crash at Turn 8 before returning to the circuit on his number two bike to set the second best time, fading to fourth as the session wore on.
A late improvement by the Castrol-liveried LCR Honda of Cal Crutchlow saw the Brit slot into fifth, ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the best of the Suzukis and Andrea Dovizioso on the second Ducati.
Points leader Valentino Rossi suffered a dismal session, his best time of 2m01.305s coming on hard front and rear tyres midway through the session.
The Italian failed to improve when switching to the favoured medium tyres, losing time with a last-minute bike change, and languished over a second behind Lorenzo at the end of the session.
Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Honda) completed the top 10.
|1||Jorge Lorenzo||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:00.246||2:00.246|
|2||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||2:00.293||+0.047|
|3||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||2:00.472||+0.226|
|4||Andrea Iannone||Ducati Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP15||2:00.486||+0.240|
|5||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||Honda RC213V||2:01.039||+0.793|
|6||Aleix Espargaro||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:01.058||+0.812|
|7||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP15||2:01.127||+0.881|
|8||Valentino Rossi||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:01.305||+1.059|
|9||Danilo Petrucci||Pramac Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:01.598||+1.352|
|10||Scott Redding||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda RC213V||2:01.607||+1.361|
|11||Maverick Viñales||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:01.796||+1.550|
|12||Hector Barbera||Avintia Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:01.796||+1.550|
|13||Pol Espargaro||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:01.850||+1.604|
|14||Bradley Smith||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha YZR-M1||2:02.101||+1.855|
|15||Stefan Bradl||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia RS-GP||2:02.118||+1.872|
|16||Eugene Laverty||Aspar MotoGP Team||Honda RC213V-RS||2:02.426||+2.180|
|17||Nicky Hayden||Aspar MotoGP Team||Honda RC213V-RS||2:02.427||+2.181|
|18||Yonny Hernandez||Pramac Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:02.554||+2.308|
|19||Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia RS-GP||2:02.626||+2.380|
|20||Mike di Meglio||Avintia Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||2:03.480||+3.234|
|21||Jack Miller||LCR Honda||Honda RC213V-RS||2:03.485||+3.239|
|22||Toni Elias||Forward Racing||Yamaha Forward||2:03.710||+3.464|
|23||Loris Baz||Forward Racing||Yamaha Forward||2:03.731||+3.485|
|24||Anthony West||AB Motoracing||Honda RC213V-RS||2:04.892||+4.646|
|25||Damian Cudlin||E-Motion IodaRacing Team||ART||2:06.962||+6.716|