In overcast conditions with rain a threat but yet to appear, the former 250cc competitor lapped in 1’44.628 to put him way out in front of his closest rival in the session, Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Racing I.S.P.A.), by a 0.815s margin.
Iannone’s compatriot Simone Corsi (Jack&Jones Team) and Britons Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) and Danny Webb (Degraaf Grand Prix) all featured in an Aprilia dominated top five.
Also in the top ten were Efrén Vázquez (Derbi Racing Team), Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar), Nico Terol (Jack & Jones Team), Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) and Joan Olivé (Derbi Racing Team).
Poleman Marc Márquez (Red Bull KTM) took it slowly down in 23rd position on the timesheet.