Dani Pedrosa's last-gasp effort ensured he ended the opening practice session ahead of the 2012 German Grand Prix on top.
Top spot had belonged exclusively to Honda during the 40-minute session, Pedrosa and team-mate Casey Stoner trading times throughout, although Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo was able to shadow the duo and stay within two tenths of a second.
It was Stoner who had looked most likely to end the session on top, having got down to a 1m22.444s as the chequered flag fell.
Pedrosa's final effort carried the Spaniard to the top of the timesheets however, at a circuit where he was victorious in both 2011 and 2010.
The top three riders' pace proved too much for the rest of the field, although Andrea Dovizioso was able to drop below the 1m23s mark in the late stages. He ended fourth fastest as a result, just over half a second adrift.
Tech 3 Yamaha stablemate Cal Crutchlow, still riding with a fractured ankle, ended the session in fifth, less than two tenths down on Dovizioso.
Hector Barbera finished as the fastest Ducati, putting his satellite Pramac machine sixth ahead of works rider Nicky Hayden, Gresini's Alvaro Bautista - who will start from the back of the grid following his Dutch TT clash with Lorenzo - and LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl.
The second works Yamaha of Ben Spies rounded out the top 10 ahead of Valentino Rossi on the second works Ducati.
Franco Battaini, replacing Karel Abraham at the Cardion Ducati squad, suffered one incident through the gravel 13 minutes from the end. He finished down in 18th position.
Aspar's Aleix Espargaro crashed at Turn 10, while Speed Master's Mattia Pasini suffered a bizarre pitlane crash when a Cardion mechanic stepped out in front of him. He fell heavily as a result, and went to the local hospital for further checks.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m22.357s 2. Casey Stoner Honda 1m22.444s + 0.087s 3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m22.647s + 0.290s 4. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m22.922s + 0.565s 5. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m23.081s + 0.724s 6. Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 1m23.091s + 0.734s 7. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m23.092s + 0.735s 8. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m23.203s + 0.846s 9. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m23.306s + 0.949s 10. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m23.353s + 0.996s 11. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m23.481s + 1.124s 12. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m24.210s + 1.853s 13. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW 1m24.560s + 2.203s 14. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m24.659s + 2.302s 15. Yonny Hernandez Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m24.786s + 2.429s 16. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m24.855s + 2.498s 17. Ivan Silva Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 1m25.512s + 3.155s 18. Franco Battaini Cardion Ducati 1m25.646s + 3.289s 19. Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 1m25.839s + 3.482s 20. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 1m25.958s + 3.601s 21. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 1m26.183s + 3.826s