The premier class arrived in Brno to clear away the cobwebs from their bikes and the track surface and no one does that faster than the reigning world champion. Marc Marquez set the early pace, almost half a second ahead of the field for much of the session, only getting dethroned in the final few seconds, when the threat of rain on Saturday morning prompted an early mini shootout for top positions. A new medium rear tyre put Andrea Dovizioso in the spotlight at the checkered flag but it was a mere tenth of a second that separated the top four.
Marquez could not be bothered with a late time attack and settled for second, three hundredths of a second slower than his Ducati rival and the same distance keeping him ahead of the lead Yamaha of Maverick Vinales, the trio sneaking into the 1:56s. The two Spaniards also served a preview of the race, exchanging a few close overtakes on their final timed laps. Miguel Oliveira’s holiday seems to have given him a bit of a boost, the Portuguese rider dragging his KTM all the way up to fourth position, trailing the championship contenders by only three hundredths of a second.
Best of the rest was another surprise of FP1, wildcard Sylvain Guintoli the top Suzuki in fifth position, three tenths down on the tight top four and edging ahead of Jack Miller. Hafizh Syahrin’s seventh spot added to an excellent morning for the Tech 3 squad, while Franco Morbidelli, Alex Rins and Valentino Rossi completed the top ten, over eighth tenths down on the leader. The likes of Cal Crutchlow and Fabio Quartararo took it easy in the first session back to work and ended their morning over a second slower than Dovizioso.