Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa edged team-mate Marc Marquez off the top of the third MotoGP free practice timesheet at Austin after the youngster had to recover from an early crash at the fast turn 19 where he lost the front and then the rear came round, spitting him over the highside.
Pedrosa banged in the fastest lap of the weekend so far with his final effort of 2'04.408 which was almost four-tenths quicker than Marquez and the HRC pair are a relative country mile ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, whose last lap put him within a second of Pedrosa and bumped Cal Crutchlow down to fourth.
The British rider took third place with 15 minutes left and then improved to a 2'05.630 on his 16th lap of 17 but it wasn't quite enough to fend off Lorenzo but he did top Stefan Bradl with whom Crutchlow believes he will be racing tomorrow.
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso took sixth place and just edged ahead of Valentino Rossi on the second factory Yamaha with Alvaro Bautista, Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies finishing off the session's top ten.
Bradley Smith ended in 12th place, so he just misses out on qualifying one but his Monster Yamaha team boss Herve Poncharal reckons the extra 15 minutes of track time in qualifying one is more beneficial than the top ten grid slot.
Aleix Espargaro is the leading CRT contender with Randy De Puniet second and Yonny Hernandez third. Colin Edwards was 21st in the session, one place ahead of Michael Laverty.
Entrants to qualifying two: