Dani Pedrosa left it late at Mugello to knock Honda team-mate Marc Marquez off top spot in the third MotoGP practice session of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
The reigning champion was unable to improve upon his Friday best time of 1m48.004s as he trailed Jorge Lorenzo through the final 10 minutes of the session, while an unhindered Pedrosa went on to top the timesheets with a 1m47.754s.
Andrea Dovizioso made further gains and finished behind Marquez, with Lorenzo just 0.011 seconds behind the Ducati rider.
Bradley Smith spent much of the session hovering just outside the top 10, but managed to vault up to fifth on his penultimate lap ahead of home hero Valentino Rossi.
Aleix Espargaro and Le Mans podium finisher Alvaro Bautista missed the Q2 cut-off and will aim to go faster in the first qualifying session to progress to the pole position shootout.
After battling through the pain barrier in Friday's practice session, Nicky Hayden has chosen not to withdraw from the remainder of the weekend.
The 2006 world champion has been plagued by a right wrist injury this season and is expected to have surgery to cure the problem next week.
The session also marked the return of Michel Fabrizio to MotoGP. The Italian is deputising for the injured Danilo Petrucci at Ioda Racing and the World Superbike veteran propped up the morning order.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m47.754s
2. Marc Marquez Honda 1m48.015s +0.261s
3. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m48.017s +0.263s
4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m48.028s +0.274s
5. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m48.142s +0.388s
6. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m48.155s +0.401s
7. Cal Crutchlow Ducati 1m48.275s +0.521s
8. Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m48.373s +0.619s
9. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m48.416s +0.662s
10. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m48.435s +0.681s
11. Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha 1m48.496s +0.742s
12. Álvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m48.639s +0.885s
13. Michele Pirro Ducati 1m48.993s +1.239s
14. Scott Redding Gresini Honda 1m49.299s +1.545s
15. Yonny Hernández Ducati 1m49.639s +1.885s
16. Karel Abraham Cardion Honda 1m49.711s +1.957s
17. Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha 1m49.928s +2.174s
18. Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 1m50.430s +2.676s
19. Héctor Barberá Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m50.757s +3.003s
20. Mike di Meglio Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m51.542s +3.788s
21. Michael Laverty PBMAprilia 1m51.674s +3.920s
22. Broc Parkes PBMAprilia 1m52.422s +4.668s
23. Michel Fabrizio Ioda Aprilia 1m54.667s +6.913s