What’s a MotoGP weekend without a little rain? The worst of the downpour avoided the boys on the big bikes but the track was still truly soaked as the riders started proceedings in Brno.
Jorge Lorenzo didn’t seem to mind the mix of significant water and just enough track temperature to go into the lead early into the session, followed by several Ducatis – even though the Italian factory chose not to run their new aero package. With the Spaniard in the pits, first Marc Marquez then Hector Barbera and finally Dani Pedrosa snatched the lead. Lorenzo reclaimed his top position on his next run, as conditions seemed to deteriorate for the final few minutes of the session. But Johann Zarco didn’t get the memo and put his name at the top of the final version of the timesheets in the very last minute.
The reigning world champion got as close as three hundredths of a second on his last try but Marquez had to settle for second. Sporting a pair of matching aerodynamic fairings, the Repsol Honda duo eventually caught Lorenzo in a Spanish sandwich for the top four, with Pedrosa fourth on the timesheets.
The factory Yamaha duo had a slow start outside the top ten, both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales eventually improving to fifth and sixth positions in the final minutes, after some gesticulating in the garage, but ending up over half a second slower than their fellow Monster Yamaha at the top.
After dominating the early part of the session, the Ducatis lost some ground, with Danilo Petrucci in seventh, Barbera eight and Andrea Dovizioso as low as thirteenth.
The top ten was completed by Aleix Espargaro in ninth position, the Aprilia running a new exhaust and engine, with Jonas Folger bookending the top ten for Yamaha.