MotoGP world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo waited until the last five minutes of the final free practice session to move to the top of the times ahead of qualifying for the Dutch TT at Assen.
The Spanish Yamaha rider played second fiddle to Ducati's Casey Stoner for much of the session before bolting a set of soft tyres to his M1 and rolling off a sequence of rapid laps that began with a 1m34.898s and ended up with an extraordinary 1m34.769s.
Stoner didn't go down without a fight however, his GP10 bedecked with a soft rear also, and the Australian improved his own time to 1m35.088s.
The 24-year-old also completed 26 laps in total, which was an uncharacteristically high number for him.
Dani Pedrosa snuck up to third as the HRC man quietly worked up the order through the hour to depose Ben Spies, who was on form once again for Tech 3 Yamaha following his third place at Silverstone.
Nicky Hayden was fifth fastest, 0.8s off the pace, on a track he usually likes. The Ducati rider ended the session lying in the gravel after an accident when the front end of his GP10 appeared to give way. The American was unharmed.
Which is more than can be said for poor Marco Melandri who walked away from a bizarre highside clutching his left arm in distinct pain.
The Italian over-shot the new section, running across the rumble-strips and down the escape lane. But as he rejoined the track, Melandri's Gresini Honda snapped violently with the rediscovery of grip and flicked its rider high in the air. The subesquent inevitable landing left Melandri with a suspected dislocated left shoulder. Should he not race tomorrow, the field will be reduced to just 15 starters.
Randy de Puniet's last lap was enough to improve him to sixth position ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and the impressive Alex Espargaro.
Marco Simoncelli and Loris Capirossi completed the top ten.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap 1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m34.769s 2. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m35.088s + 0.319s 3. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m35.451s + 0.682s 4. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m35.518s + 0.749s 5. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m35.576s + 0.807s 6. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m35.598s + 0.829s 7. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m35.626s + 0.857s 8. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m35.640s + 0.871s 9. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m35.965s + 1.196s 10. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m36.177s + 1.408s 11. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m36.224s + 1.455s 12. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m36.297s + 1.528s 13. Hector Barberta Aspar Ducati 1m36.388s + 1.619s 14. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m36.944s + 2.175s 15. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m37.190s + 2.421s 16. Kousuke Akiyoshi Interwetten Honda 1m39.379s + 4.610s