The world championship leader is on a mission this weekend, Marc Marquez pushing strong from the start of the session, nearly breaking into the 1:47s on his first laps, before lapping comfortably in the mid 1:48s for the rest of the session, most of his laps faster than the nearest rival.
Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa were the closest challengers when it came to race pace, seven tenths down on the fastest lap and running in the low 1:49s. Aleix Espargaro split the duo in the timesheets, the three within a tenth of each other.
Cal Crutchlow was once again at the sharp end in fifth position, the last rider posting a time in the 1:48s, followed by Maverick Viñales in sixth, the Spaniard a second down on Marquez.
The Ducatis used the session to test the medium option rear tyre in an attempt to see if it is a viable option for the race, Andrea Dovizioso posting reasonable times in the low 1:49s and finishing FP4 in seventh position, in front of Pol Espargaro.
Jorge Lorenzo’s new shark-themed helmet got quite a bit of airtime but didn’t help much in posting top times, the world champion lingering at the back of the top ten for most of the session. Almost a second and a half down on Marquez and his race pace consistent but consistently slower than his main rivals.
Still recovering from injury and resting to be in top shape for qualifying, Loris Baz put in few laps, while Alex Lowes sat out the session after a foot injury following an FP3 crash, the rider’s condition to be reviewed on Sunday.