The MotoGP circus was back on the scene of the 2020 season finale and it was once again a momentous occasion, as highlighted by the small mob in front of the Repsol Honda garage as the lights turned green at the end of pitlane. Marc Marquez did not leave us waiting for long and quickly joined a track scattered with damp patches and took it uncharacteristically easy while his rivals somewhat begrudgingly watched him get all the attention as he tiptoed through puddles. Once the initial excitement wore off, it was Yamaha and Ducati’s turn to battle it out for top spot. Maverick Vinales and Pecco Bagnaia were the key players, and it was the Spaniard who eventually secured the headlines.
Although the two factories kept the top spots busy early on, Suzuki's Alex Rins climbed into second position right before the checkered flag waved, a tenth of a second behind Vinales. Marc Marquez rejoined the action for the final ten minutes and made his presence felt, briefly holding top spot before getting pushed back to a solid third place. Although times were quite a bit off the pace given the mixed conditions, Honda seemed to have put the troubles of Qatar behind them and had more of a presence inside the top 10, with Pol Espargaro only four thousandths of a second slower than his teammate.
Johann Zarco joined the top five, while Baganaia dropped to sixth after leading the way for much of the session. Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller both saw their names at the top for short stints before getting demoted to seventh and eighth spots, while Alex Marquez and Danilo Petrucci rounded out the top ten. Valentino Rossi, Takaaki Nakagami and world champion Joan Mir also finished within a second of the leader.