The premier class returned to our screens particularly keen to grab the headlines with an avalanche of news, but all the talk moved to the track come Friday morning. Joan Mir kept the top seat warm for much of the session, while his main rivals were busy exceeding track limits, but Takaki Nakagami eventually managed to snatch top spot by seven hundredths of a second on his final flying lap. With Mir demoted to second, a big group of his compatriots followed closely behind. Aleix Espargaro claimed third ahead of Alex Rins and the Repsol Honda duo of Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez.
The Yamaha brigade came next, with Maverick Viñales a touch quicker than teammate Fabio Quartararo, who posted an identical time with compatriot Johann Zarco. Jack Miller completed the top 10 positions, his best time one second slower than the leader’s.
Dani Pedrosa had a somewhat bittersweet return to racing action, sitting consistently inside the top 10 until he had to pull to one side with a mechanical issue in the second half of the session. He rejoined the track on his second machine and recovered a few spots to secure 11th position, ahead of Pecco Bagnaia and Alex Marquez. Miguel Oliveira was the next best KTM in 15th place, although the Portuguese rider had to sit out the final third of the session after a pretty nasty high side at turn three.