Factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo led the way in the first practice session for this weekend's MotoGP round at Jerez, ahead of Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro and Honda's Cal Crutchlow.
Lorenzo fired an early warning shot across the bow of his MotoGP rivals after leaping to the top of the timesheets in front of his home fans at the Spanish circuit.
After a troubled start to the year, Lorenzo was back to his ultra-smooth self and wasted no time in getting up to speed, setting a fastest time of 1m39.174s early on.
That put the Yamaha rider 0.049s faster than Espargaro, whose best effort came in the closing stages using the softer compound rear tyre.
The Suzuki rider looked set to improve further on the following lap, but lost the chance to go quickest with an early mistake.
LCR Honda rider Crutchlow was a further 0.514s off Lorenzo in third, going ahead of Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso by just five thousandths with a last-minute improvement, while the Tech 3 Yamaha of Pol Espargaro completed the top five.
Championship leader Valentino Rossi got his first day of practice off to a solid start with sixth position and a best lap of 1m39.872s, a thousandth behind the younger Espargaro and just ahead of the second Suzuki of Maverick Vinales.
Marc Marquez took to the track with a modified grip on the left handlebar of his Honda RC213V to aid the healing of his little finger that he broke in a motocross accident. The double champion managed a best time of 1m39.914s to take eighth place.
Hector Barbera was the top Open class rider after taking ninth position on the Avintia Racing Ducati, one place ahead of Marc VDS rider Scott Redding, who rounded out the top 10.
|11||Stefan Bradl||Forward Yamaha||0.863|
|13||Loris Baz||Forward Yamaha||0.918|
|23||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||2.259|
|25||Alex de Angelis||ART||3.159|