Quartararo fastest in opening Catalonia MotoGP practice
In a rare moment of predictability in a fluctuating season, the four riders who lead the standings were the fastest on Friday in the opening practice for the Catalonia MotoGP.
The quartet are separated by four points in the standings and were 0.674 seconds apart on Friday morning.
Frenchman Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha satellite SRT set the fastest time, ahead of championship leader Italian Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati.
Joan Mir was third despite crashing his Suzuki in sunny but windy conditions. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) was fourth.
Dovizioso leads Quartararo and Vinales by one point with Mir, who is still chasing his first MotoGP victory, four points off first.
The Catalan race is the eighth of 15 in the championship which has become highly competitive in the absence of the six-time world champion Marc Marquez (Honda), who broke his arm in the first race of the season.
A second session is scheduled at 14:10 (1210 GMT).
Fastest laps in the first practice sessions of the Catalonia MotoGP:
1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) 1min 40.431sec, 2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati)at 0.430sec, 3. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 0.629, 4. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.674, 5. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) 0.764, 6. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.788, 7. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 0.885, 8. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 1.105, 9. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda-LCR) 1.118, 10. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM-Tech3) 1.161