Yonny Hernandez was the fastest rider in damp and drying conditions on Friday morning at Mugello, as he comfortably topped the first free practice session from Scott Redding.
Using Michelin's intermediate tyres, which made their first appearance during a grand prix weekend in 2016, Hernandez's late run of laps was enough to lead Redding's Ducati GP15 by 0.774s.
Coming off two difficult weekends in Jerez and Le Mans, Redding's Ducati sported an updated, streamlined fairing. He too showed strong pace on intermediates, with the fastest lap time just over six seconds off the official lap record.
Cal Crutchlow was third fastest (+1.135s) with countryman Bradley Smith (+1.460s) making it three English riders in the top places.
Just 14 riders posted a lap time throughout the 45 minutes with only twelve of those lapping within the required 107 percent of Hernandez's fastest time.
Indeed, Valentino Rossi used the session to focus on one of his primary weaknesses; starts. The Italian didn't set a competitive time and instead carried out a succession of practice starts from pit lane exit.
None of the top three in the world championship (Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Rossi) set a time.
1. Yonny Hernandez
2. Scott Redding
3. Cal Crutchlow
4. Bradley Smith
5. Michele Pirro
6. Maverick Viñales
7. Eugene Laverty
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Andrea Iannone
10. Tito Rabat
11. Loris Baz
12. Hector Barbera