Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso topped the opening MotoGP practice at Brno this morning with a top ten that featured Sylvain Guintoli, Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin.
Dovizioso finished his morning on a 1’56.919 using medium Michelins all round with reigning champion Marc Marquez in second 0.029s behind and Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales in third, 0.034s further back.
But it was the soft-tyre lap of Suzuki test rider Guintoli, who put in a 1’57.371 to end in fifth and Oliveira who is again equipped with a carbon swingarm on his Red Bull Tech3 RC16 this weekend, that provided the interest.
The Portugese rider, using medium and soft Michelins, was less than a tenth slower than Dovizioso and towed outgoing team-mate Syahrin round for seventh place.
Repsol Honda’s Marquez led for most of the session, setting a 1’56.948 early doors which was only beaten by Dovizioso’s GP19 with a couple of minutes left.
Monster-backed Vinales was also circulating at the top of the times but his final effort was only good enough for third.
Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller set a 1’57.385 at the beginning of the session and he was only shuffled down the pack by the soft-tyre laps from Guintoli and Oliveira but is still only half a second off the pace.
Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli was nudged to eighth by Syahrin with Alex Rins and Valentino Rossi completing a top ten covered by less than a second.
Pol Espargaro ended in 11th place, one ahead of Pecco Bagnaia who was the first and only crasher in the session. Danilo Petrucci was well off the pace in 13th, as was Britain’s Cal Crutchlow who was behind Tito Rabat in 15th place and 1.1s in arrears.
Rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo was unsensationally in 18th place with Johann Zarco on the works KTM stone last.