After watching his team-mate excel at the Sachsenring while he endured his most trying weekend in MotoGP to date, Johann Zarco was back to his best on Friday morning, as he topped a drenched FP1 session at Brno.

Zarco eased his way into the session, posting a late time of 2m 5.201s to head championship leader Marc Marquez by 0.039s. Jorge Lorenzo, nowhere throughout the past two rounds, was a heartening third, a tenth off the quickest time.

By the session’s close, just one second covered the top twelve riders, with each of the three leading manufacturers well represented toward the front of the field. With rain forecasted for Sunday’s race, the 23-rider MotoGP contingent will be pleased to get some track time in the wet, especially Movistar Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales.

While the factory Hondas and Ducatis were up and running soon into the 45 minutes, it took a little longer for the M1s to get up to speed, with Viñales in particular struggling down the order, sitting outside the top 15 until the final ten minutes, when he salvaged an acceptable time.

Marquez debuted a new take on Honda’s aerodynamics package in the session, with Pedrosa opting for a more refined configuration. Ducati has a new fairing here too, although neither Lorenzo nor Andrea Dovizioso (13th) sampled it this morning.

Outside the top six, Danilo Petrucci was seventh, ahead of early leader Hector Barbera (eighth), Aleix Espargaro (ninth) and Folger (tenth). Usual wet weather specialists Cal Crutchlo (twelfth), Dovizioso and Scott Redding (14th) were surprising omissions from the top ten, with Jack Miller uncharacteristically struggling in 21st.


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