Despite the cool conditions following earlier rain, plenty of hard front tyres were unveiled as riders took to the track for one final stroll ahead of qualifying. There was no such need for Jorge Lorenzo, who shot into the lead with a 2:01 as soon as he hit the track on new mediums and held station until Maverick Viñales found himself back into the familiar position at the top of the timesheets on the same tyres halfway through the session.
The Spaniard timed his move to perfection as rain flags came back out in sector four soon after, due to a gargantuan black cloud turning things dark despite the rest of the track still enjoying sunshine. Most riders retreated to pitlane for the rest of the session with only half a dozen laps posted on their initial runs but a few brave souls went back out in the incoming downpour.
Viñales took the checkered flag in the comfort of his garage, almost half a second faster than Lorenzo on the timesheets. Marc Marquez threatened for the lead throughout this first run while making an impressive race run in the low 2:01s on a used soft rear and followed that through with a run on rain tyres. His experiment was cut short as a red flag was waved following several incidents at turn seven. Standing water on the Hangar Straight caused trouble for the likes of Alex Rins, Lorenzo, Franco Morbidelli, Aleix Espargaro, Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith and the unluckiest of the lot, Tito Rabat, who had to be taken to the Medical Centre after being hit by another incoming bike.
The remaining two minutes were not restarted and the hierarchy was maintained on the timesheets, Jack Miller fourth, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, all three riders half a second off Viñales. Rins in seventh position was over a second slower than the leader, with teammate Andrea Iannone, Johann Zarco and Morbidelli rounding out the top ten. Valentino Rossi was 1.7 seconds off his teammate after the handful of laps set.