Ducati rider Andrea Iannone briefly upstaged the MotoGP title fight by topping the timesheets in the Valencia decider's third practice session, while points leader Valentino Rossi lapped a strong second.
Italian duo Iannone and Rossi were the only two riders to go below 1m31s, as the latter's championship rival Jorge Lorenzo took fifth behind Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith.
While Marquez came within 0.041s of his best Friday time with his very first proper flyer, there would be no improvements among the frontrunners in the opening stage of the session - as Lorenzo, Marquez and Dani Pedrosa all lapped in the mid-1m31s.
But the reigning champion upped the pace as the session approached halfway, setting session-best sectors on two attempts before improving to a 1m31.207s on his third subsequent lap, slotting in within a tenth of Lorenzo's Friday benchmark.
Yet it would take until five minutes to go for Marquez to finally surpass Lorenzo with a 1m31.034s, with Rossi immediately slotting in 0.004s behind.
Then, with three minutes to go, the 1m30s barrier was finally broken - and by none other than the Ducati of Iannone, setting a 1m30.925s
Right before the chequered flag, Rossi joined him below 1m31s, lapping 0.063s adrift - but Iannone's time would remain unsurpassed.
With Marquez third, Smith took fourth on the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha, overhauling Lorenzo, who was the only rider in the top 10 not to improve on Friday.
Behind them, Honda's Pedrosa struggled for outright pace late on in the session, but a late improvement took him to sixth, 0.001s clear of Pol Espargaro on the second Tech 3 bike.
Iannone's teammate Andrea Dovizioso was four tenths off his teammate in eighth, ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), who rounded out the list of riders automatically qualifying for Q2.
Just missing the Q2 cutoff was Aleix Espargaro in P11 - and his Suzuki teammate Maverick Vinales took 13th, the duo split by Hector Barbera's Avintia Ducati.
|1||Andrea Iannone||Ducati Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP15||1:30.925||1:30.925|
|2||Valentino Rossi||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:30.988||+0.063|
|3||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1:31.034||+0.109|
|4||Bradley Smith||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:31.134||+0.209|
|5||Jorge Lorenzo||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:31.146||+0.221|
|6||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1:31.163||+0.238|
|7||Pol Espargaro||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:31.164||+0.239|
|8||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP15||1:31.347||+0.422|
|9||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||Honda RC213V||1:31.367||+0.442|
|10||Danilo Petrucci||Pramac Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||1:31.523||+0.598|
|11||Aleix Espargaro||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:31.606||+0.681|
|12||Hector Barbera||Avintia Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||1:31.695||+0.770|
|13||Maverick Vinales||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:31.824||+0.899|
|14||Yonny Hernandez||Pramac Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||1:32.033||+1.108|
|15||Stefan Bradl||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia RS-GP||1:32.102||+1.177|
|16||Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia RS-GP||1:32.104||+1.179|
|17||Michele Pirro||Ducati Team||Ducati Desmosedici GP15||1:32.106||+1.181|
|18||Jack Miller||LCR Honda||Honda||1:32.227||+1.302|
|19||Scott Redding||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda RC213V||1:32.405||+1.480|
|20||Loris Baz||Forward Racing||Yamaha Forward||1:32.431||+1.506|
|21||Mike di Meglio||Avintia Racing||Ducati Desmosedici GP14||1:32.450||+1.525|
|22||Nicky Hayden||Aspar MotoGP Team||Honda RC213V-RS||1:32.556||+1.631|
|23||Eugene Laverty||Aspar MotoGP Team||Honda RC213V-RS||1:32.763||+1.838|
|24||Toni Elias||Forward Racing||Yamaha Forward||1:32.933||+2.008|
|25||Anthony West||AB Motoracing||Honda RC213V-RS||1:33.330||+2.405|
|26||Broc Parkes||E-Motion IodaRacing Team||ART||1:34.139||+3.214|