If Assen wasn’t warm enough already, the premier class turned up the heat the second they hit the track by knocking on the doors of 1:34 straight away, with the likes of Marc Marquez, Danilo Petrucci and Maverick Viñales carrying the flag for their factories early on. Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso then picked up the pace to challenge the world champion’s benchmark as well but it was Viñales who led the way after the first run of the morning session.
Marquez did not need long to retrieve his favourite place on the timesheets on his second outing and then continued to move the goalposts throughout the session, while also having a good look at his factory Yamaha pals. Viñales and Rossi followed him on the timing screens instead and completed the top ten two tenths of a second down on the Honda man while not quite rivalling the consistency of his pace.
Jack Miller continued his progress with a fourth position, with Dovizioso four tenths down on his main title rival. Andrea Iannone had his first official go on Suzuki’s updated engine spec and it scored him a sixth place, the final place within half a second of the leader. Jorge Lorenzo also showed similar pace to his main challengers but a late spill in the gravel at turn 9 pushed him back to seventh spot.
Franco Morbidelli continued to impress with an eighth position while awaiting an announcement on his future, while Cal Crutchlow and Petrucci faded towards the end of FP1 to round out the top ten. With Alvaro Bautista and Tito Rabat showing improved form just outside the top ten positions, the last men left within a second of the world champion were Johann Zarco and Dani Pedrosa in 13th and 14th place respectively, the duo presumably waiting for the thermometer to impress a little more.