Jorge Lorenzo topped the timing sheets on the opening day of free practice in Valencia as defending World Champion Marc Marquez suffered a small crash in the final stages of FP2. Pedrosa who had led for the majority of the session sandwiched Dovizioso who himself on the soft rear tyre ended third position.
Dovizioso kept his slim title hopes alive with a win in Malaysia last time out and needs another victory along with a spectacular failure from Repsol Honda’s Marquez on home soil to be crowned champion.
In seven seasons together, Lorenzo and Rossi never scored as few points between them as Rossi and Vinales have mustered this season (423 with a race to go), taking as many as 655 in 2015 and achieving their lowest combined figure, 482, the following season.
Ducati rider Lorenzo clocked one minute, 30.640 seconds in the second session in his homeland at Circuit Ricardo Tormo on Friday after Andrea Iannone was fastest in FP1.
Seeking his fourth world title, Marquez tops the Moto GP World Standing with 129 points, just five points ahead of Viñales (Yamaha).
Jack Miller was seventh fastest with Cal Crutchlow eighth, Ducati wild card Michele Pirro ninth with Pol Espargaro rounding out the top ten.
The Aprilia rider was left stranded in 12th as a result, with the second factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales splitting the pair in 11th – the 2013 Moto3 world champion nearly a second off of the pace.
The Suzuki rider headed KTM test rider Mika Kallio, while Tech3 stand-in Michael van der Mark once again completed the 25-rider field.