As the session started, the M1 of Valentino Rossi was already in holiday mood, the bike showing signs of trouble just out the pits as the light turned green, the Italian taking the Yamaha for a stroll through the paddock instead.
As he rejoined the slightly cool track on his second bike, his main rivals were switching places at the top, Marc Marquez then Jorge Lorenzo taking over the leader board, within five hundredths of each other. After the usual mid-session lull, the world champion jumped back ahead of his countryman, Pol Espargaro joining the party soon after, splitting the duo but over three tenths down on Marquez.
The final minutes brought Lorenzo back in contention, the Yamaha rider going faster than his own circuit record. Rossi eventually got up to speed to put in an impressive last lap that got him ahead of Marquez, the Honda dropping to third and both of them almost four tenths down on Lorenzo.
Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Viñales disputed fourth place for much of the session, the Suzuki losing the fight to both the Ducati and the younger Espargaro, Viñales finishing fifth, with teammate Aleix Espargaro putting in a late charge for seventh. The end of the top ten included some unusual names with Jack Miller in eighth and Scott Redding in ninth, Andrea Iannone completing it, over a second down on the leader.
Back in action for the last GP of the season, Dani Pedrosa had to cope both with the still recovering injuries and the cold temperatures of the morning, the Spaniard putting in a handful of laps and finishing twelfth, two places ahead of the fellow Honda and fellow injured colleague Cal Crutchlow.
The first official FP1 outing of the KTM, with Mika Kallio on board, saw the new bike finish less than three seconds down on the leader and half a second behind Loris Baz in twenty-first position.