Ok, maybe it wasn’t quite as dramatic as the headline suggests but flags on the merchandise stalls were waving with more fervour than the most devoted fanclub could ever manage. That saw Maverick Viñales take a late turn at the top of the standings, the Suzuki enjoying the cool conditions to go significantly faster than the field, only Jorge Lorenzo within a second of his fellow Spaniard.
Marc Marquez was the early leader after the first run, the championship leader then becoming the first faller in the class, crashing into turn twelve on the following outlap. A change of leathers later, the Honda rider went back out to reclaim his top spot, before being bumped down to third.
Running the new frame tested in Brno, Valentino Rossi started steadily, climbing his way into the top four in the final part of the session. Ducati will be quite satisfied with their morning as well, with Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone leading the timesheets on occasion. Ultimately, they finished fifth and seventh, with Iannone also finishing in a puff of smoke.
The two were separated by Pol Espargaro in sixth position, the Spaniard raising his game against his new teammate. Dani Pedrosa, Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci ended the top ten, over a second and a half down on Viñales.