Andrea Dovizioso fired a warning shot to world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo in the wet warm-up for the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring, by setting the fastest time on the last lap of the session.
The Italian, whose only grand prix win in the top class came in torrential weather conditions at Donington Park last year, set a best time of 1m31.638s on a track that, while it never dried, steadily improved through the session.
Ducati's Casey Stoner was second quickest for Ducati and had been top until he was deposed by Dovizioso late on.
Lorenzo could only manage third fastest on the Yamaha, some four tenths away from the fastest time of the morning.
Dovizioso's team-mate Dani Pedrosa might have been higher than fourth, but got his rear-wheel on the kerbing on the run up the hill to the last corner and was lucky to catch the resulting wobble. Thought that didn't stop him punching his leg in frustration of his mistake.
Nicky Hayden will have been buoyed by moving up to fifth position after a difficult weekend so far, while Marco Melandri proved he could be an interloper should the conditions remain unsettled with sixth.
Randy de Puniet, still limping significantly from yesterday's shunt and clearly in pain, was seventh fastest for LCR ahead of the impressive Hector Barbera and a circumspect Valentino Rossi. Mika Kallio meanwhile, completed the top ten.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m31.638s +
2. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m31.888s + 0.250s
3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m32.041s + 0.403s
4. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m32.403s + 0.765s
5. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m32.561s + 0.923s
6. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m32.631s + 0.993s
7. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m32.986s + 1.348s
8. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m33.129s + 1.491s
9. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m33.441s + 1.803s
10. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m33.496s + 1.858s
11. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m33.563s + 1.925s
12. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m33.633s + 1.995s
13. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m33.668s + 2.030s
14. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.004s + 2.366s
15. Alex de Angelis Interwetten Honda 1m34.098s + 2.460s
16. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m34.906s + 3.268s
17. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m37.791s + 6.153s