Due to the extremely dusty track surface and riders pushing to find the limits, an assortment of names found the run-off area at turn one.
However this was nothing compared to Yonny Hernández’s accident, as the Colombian lost the front end of his PBM-run ART bike which flipped across the gravel less than ten minutes into the session; fortunately, the 24-year-old was able to walk away and ended his day in 18th place.
It was an encouraging start to the campaign for GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, competing the night in sixth spot from the LCR Honda MotoGP of Stefan Bradl. Behind, a low-key start for expected title challenger Dani Pedrosa saw the Repsol man end up in eighth place, having run off the track twice.
As Nicky Hayden confirmed a double top ten finish for Ducati Team, Aleix Espargaró raised eyebrows by ending his evening ninth quickest on the leading CRT bike of Power Electronics Aspar, just 1.1 seconds off Lorenzo’s leading time.