Aleix Espargaro has put the soft tire available to the Open class riders to good use, posting a very fast lap at the end of FP1 to take top spot. It was not the first time during the first session of free practice for the MotoGP riders that Espargaro set the fastest time, the Forward Yamaha rider dislodging Jorge Lorenzo from the top spot earlier.
Lorenzo showed he was ready to bounce back after a difficult Assen, leading the way throughout the session and setting down a very strong pace. He ended the session just in front of his Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who was close to the front for most of the session. Pol Espargaro posted a fast lap at the end of the session to jump up to 4th. The only Yamaha rider missing at the top was Bradley Smith, who suffered a very tough session, crashing at the start and at the end, two both times in tricky positions. Smith's first crash was at the top of the Waterfall, getting flicked off at Turn 10, his bike sliding dangerously to a halt right at the apex of Turn 11. The second crash came as he tried to save a highside, getting flicked off line and running through the gravel down the hill.
Marc Marquez was the other crasher, the Repsol Honda man falling early at Turn 2, the rear breaking away suddenly and flicking him high in the air, landing on his neck. The crash shook Marquez up, leaving him with a sore neck. He was soon back on the bike, and got close to the top of the timesheets, before dropping away at the end as others improved. It left Marquez down in 6th, behind Alvaro Bautista, who was the fastest Honda on the Go&Fun Gresini, and ahead of Stefan Bradl and Dani Pedrosa. Bradl had made the early running, but was left behind as the Yamahas got faster. Andrea Iannone was the fastest of the Ducatis in 9th, leading his Pramac Ducati teammate Yonny Hernandez to round out the top 10.
|1||41||Aleix Espargaro||Forward Yamaha||1'22.170|
|18||5||Colin Edwards||Forward Yamaha||1'23.699||1.529||0.267|
|21||63||Mike Di Meglio||Avintia||1'24.131||1.961||0.206|