As soon as the sun was out in Silverstone, Marc Marquez was out to make a statement on the soft option rear tyre, while his rivals preferred to have a look at the circuit on the medium rear. The world championship leader installed himself at the top of the timesheets right away and waited for his challengers to cut the three tenths of a second gap.
The gorgeous Castrol livery gave Cal Crutchlow a boost, the British rider briefly stealing the lead in the early part of the session. Marquez promptly and unkindly removed him on his next lap, the Spaniard staying out to put in a good 10-lap run on the tyre while his rivals returned to the garages for the usual mid-session lull.
Last year’s victor at the British track, Maverick Viñales, was the next rider to dethrone Marquez with fourteen minutes to go, beating his time by less than a tenth of a second. Both Yamahas seemed to rejoice in the cooler conditions, Valentino Rossi joining his teammate in the top two with ten minute left. The domination did not last long, Crutchlow popping up again to steal some late home glory.
Jorge Lorenzo was one of the few to attempt a last-minute shootout on new soft rear rubber, the Spaniard putting a Ducati in top position for the first time this weekend. Viñales also followed his lead but the Spaniard only left himself one lap to make a difference – and so he did, finding five tenths of a second on the brand new tyre to finally settle the score and top FP1. Lorenzo remained second, with Crutchlow completing the top three.
Honda fiddled with Marquez’s bike after the long first run but eventually let him out on the same set of tyres - he wasn’t to challenge for top honours but the Spaniard climbed into fourth position while posting some decent consistent laps on the used rubber.
Rossi saw several of his laps cancelled but still enjoyed a good morning in fifth spot, ahead of Alvaro Bautista in sixth. Soft-tyre enthusiast Johann Zarco preferred to ride on the medium rear option this morning and finished seventh, the last man within a second of the leader.
Aleix Espargaro, Scott Redding and Spielberg victor Andrea Dovizioso completed the top ten, with Jack Miller performing well close behind, in eleventh place. Suzuki's Alex Rins and KTM's Pol Espargaro also managed to position themselves ahead of Dani Pedrosa, the factory Honda only fourteenth.