All the talk on Thursday may have surrounded 2017 but Jorge Lorenzo demonstrated he still has his eyes set on the immediate future as he topped the first MotoGP free practice session at Jerez.

At the round that saw his 2015 championship aspirations receive a timely jolt, Lorenzo emerged from FP1 on top in Andalusia, his final time of 1m 40.270s good enough to push surprise package Hector Barbera into second, by a quarter of a second.

Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi completed the top three, underscoring the Yamaha M1's suitability to the twisty Jerez layout, some four tenths of a second off the Majorcan's best time. Rossi had led the session at the halfway point until the two Spaniards lowered their times.

While Rossi made use of Yamaha's under-the-seat fuel tank from preseason testing in free practice in Austin, Lorenzo had one of his bikes fitted with the new design in Jerez, suggesting it is a design engineers feel has some potential.

A tenth slower than Rossi, Dani Pedrosa was the first of the Repsol Hondas in fourth, with Marc Marquez a place behind in fifth. Marquez, the current championship leader, needed a scooter ride back to pit lane at the close of the session as his machine stopped moments after a practice start.

23-year old Marquez was sampling sizeable winglets for the first time in the morning session, testing the increased aerodynamic feature along with the smaller strakes he used in Texas.

Another man whose future was the subject of much discussion on Thursday, Maverick Vi?ales was the first of the Suzukis in sixth, ahead of team-mate Aleix Espargaro. Vi?ales spent the session testing a revamped '16 chassis back-to-back with the '15 version he raced in the previous three races.

Yonny Hernandez ensured two Ducati GP14.2s finished ahead of both factory Ducatis. The Columbian was eighth, with Andrea Dovizioso ninth. Cal Crutchlow was tenth.

There were difficult sessions for Scott Redding (14th), Bradley Smith (18th) and Jack Miller (21st), who is returning from injury after missing the previous race.

1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Hector Barbera
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Marc Marquez
6. Maverick Vi?ales
7. Aleix Espargaro
8. Yonny Hernandez
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Cal Crutchlow
11.Andrea Iannone
12.Pol Espargaro
13.Loris Baz
14. Scott Redding
15.Stefan Bradl
16.Alvaro Bautista
17. Eugene Laverty
18. Bradley Smith
19.Michele Pirro
20.Tito Rabat
21. Jack Miller