With the surface all dried up after an earlier shower, Marc Marquez took little time to drop into his favourite 2:04s and put a one second cushion between himself and unsurprisingly Andrea Iannone. While the Italian lost some ground to the Yamahas later on, the Repsol Honda man posted very consistent times regardless of the tyre combination he had on throughout the session.
The second run brought Maverick Viñales back to collective awareness, the Spaniard first slashing Marquez’s lead to two tenths of a second and eventually getting as close as five hundredths of a second to the reigning world champion. Besides a competitive fast lap, the Yamaha man was also the only other rider to consistently keep up with Marquez in the 2:04s when it came to race pace.
Teammate Valentino Rossi left it late to mingle at the front as the Italian made a late jump into third position although not quite pushing the youngsters at the top. Despite dropping to fourth on the timesheets, Iannone rode all session on the same hard rear tyre and did his best time on the final lap, six tenths down on Marquez.
Cal Crutchlow was another three tenths back in fifth position, followed by a subdued Andrea Dovizioso, nearly a second behind Marquez. Jack Miller’s seventh position looked like a substantial improvement from his previous practice sessions but it does come with a footnote in that he posted his best time while on the leader’s tail. Alex Rins, Johann Zarco and Danilo Petrucci completed a predictable top ten, just as the skies were starting to get a little dark.