A cool Valencia greeted the premier class for their first outing but things soon got hotter, with Marc Marquez setting camp at the top of the timesheets by over half a second, quickly followed by familiar wildcard Michele Pirro setting up a Ducati barbeque in the gravel trap. While the world champion was getting a taste of the medium tyres, soft-medium was the overwhelming choice for his rivals in the chilly conditions. Most of those rivals were dressed in blue, the Yamaha boys back in business and doing a takeover of the rest of the top five. Maverick Viñales was the one to take it to Marquez in the final third of the session, drawing ever nearer to his compatriot in the closing stages of the session. However, it was Fabio Quartararo who took the fight to Marquez, using fresh soft rubber to demote the world champion in the final couple of minutes of the session. In doing so, the Frenchman stole Jack Miller’s thunder, who was the only other rider improving on new tyres and the Pramac rider had to settle for second.
Marquez stuck to his usual routine of giving used tyres a good battering and made do with third place. Viñales did the same as his compatriot and finished half a tenth behind Marquez, with the two Spaniards shaping up as the main contenders on race pace. With his teammate once again stealing the limelight, Franco Morbidelli settled for a top five position, only two tenths off the lead. Joan Mir in sixth was lead Suzuki, ahead of the KTM of Pol Espargaro.
It was a fairly tame session until the final five minutes, when Valentino Rossi took a harmless cold tyre tumble at turn four and got pushed back to eighth, despite being in the top five until that point. Andrea Dovizioso had a mild start to his weekend, nearly seven tenths off the leader and down in ninth, while Alex Rins rounded out the top ten. Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro were the final men within a second of Quartararo, with Johann Zarco best of the rest in 13th position.