After the heavy rain hit the track overnight, the Moto3 class did a good job of drying the racing line, although the big damp patches off-line were still a rather worrying sight for the premier class riders. That didn’t keep them in their garages for too long though, Danilo Petrucci the first to throw caution to the wind and go nine tenths of a second faster than his rivals on his first handful of laps. The Honda duo relegated him soon after but constantly improving conditions meant that the timing sheets featured more red than Ducati’s merchandise stand.
Marc Marquez held the lead after the first run, with only teammate Dani Pedrosa within a second of his time, the world champion opting to stay out during the mid-session lull and continuing to improve his sector times on the medium tyre combination.
Wildcard Michele Pirro might have stumbled upon some mechanical problems early in the session but the Italian recovered to be the first rider to seriously challenge the world champion on top. Some minor alarm bells rang for the Spaniard and he swiftly increased the gap from half a tenth to nearly half a second. That was to be the final order, Marquez and Pirro sharing the fastest sector times between themselves.
In his now usual routine, Andrea Dovizioso steadily climbed the timesheets to finish third, two tenths down on his teammate. Cal Crutchlow’s cooking trauma did not seem to impede him much, the British rider only two hundredths of a second slower than the championship leader, with Petrucci wiggling his way back into fifth position.
Jorge Lorenzo made a late jump to put four Ducatis into the top six, followed by the Honda of Pedrosa in seventh, the two historic rivals being the last riders within a second of Marquez.
Maverick Viñales built his speed throughout the session, steadily climbing into eighth position – the first Yamaha on the timesheets and followed by another two. Johann Zarco began his morning by going off-roading on wet grass in the final corner and finished it with a crash in turn six, the Frenchman unhappy but still in ninth spot, less than a tenth ahead of teammate Jonas Folger, who completed the top ten.
The final few minutes saw perhaps a little too much confidence in the conditions and several riders suffered harmless crashes, the likes of Sam Lowes, Andrea Iannone, Aleix Espargaro and Alex Rins leaving the Aprilia and Suzuki crews with a bit of work over lunchtime.