The sun was out and Lorenzo was out on a mission to get his name back on top. Once that challenge was done with, the Spanish rider went on to set a string of low 1:31s, all while Marc Marquez was catching up lap after lap. The world champion eventually sneaked ahead by a mere half a tenth but then found the gravel trap with three minutes to go, demonstrating his karate kick on the innocent tyre wall around turn six.
While both rivals proved to have good pace, Maverick Viñales kept close as well, about a tenth behind Lorenzo and showing good prospects for Sunday’s race. Fourth was Andrea Iannone, although the leading Ducati was three tenths down on the top trio, Valentino Rossi close behind his countryman.