Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the revised MotoGP calendar for 2020 provides for several laps on the same track, with the first Andalusian GP taking place just a week after the Spanish GP in Jerez.
With the field in Jerez already running for four days, FP1 was largely a subdued affair as most of them focused more on longer runs than a time attack.
Aprilias Aleix Espargaro set the first pace at the RS-GP before his KTM-mounted brother Pol took over the top of the timesheet on the factory KTM.
The younger Espargaro brother immediately improved his 1: 37.790 minutes to 1: 37.497 minutes, which was the benchmark for most of the morning.
It took until the end for the top 10 order to be shuffled, with Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli taking the top spot with a time of 1: 37.416 minutes.
The Italian was demoted to the Yamaha works team by his mentor Rossi, who took out two tenths of a lead with 1: 37.205 minutes.
After Rossi abandoned the race last Sunday due to a technical problem, Motorsport.com reported Thursday that Yamaha had sent engines from Rossi’s and Vinales’ allotment to Japan for inspection – the latter reportedly already using three of its five allotted units.
Vinales, who moved up to second place late behind his teammate, would snatch him up on death with a 1: 37.063s – three-tenths ahead of Marc Marquez, who led the session peak in FP1 last week.
Rossi held second place in front of KTM rookie Brad Binder, who showed podium pace in his debut race last weekend, although he ran off the track at Turn 5 in the early stages and fell back to the end of the field.
Morbidelli ended up fourth ahead of Pol Espargaro and his Tech 3 KTM counterpart Miguel Oliveira.
Jack Miller was a top Ducati runner in seventh place in the Pramac-Run GP20, with LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, Aleix Espargaro and works Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso completing the top 10.
The Spanish GP race winner Fabio Quartararo was in 13th place just 0.829 seconds behind Vinales Tempo, but later had no new soft rear tire for a time attack.
Joan Mir was the top Suzuki in 11th place, while his returning teammate Alex Rins – who dislocated and broken his right shoulder in a fall in qualifying last week – was 3.1 seconds off the pace in 21st place after just being had driven eight laps.
Cal Crutchlow was in 20th place, 1.172 seconds ahead, when he completed 18 laps on his LCR Honda with his recently broken left wrist.
Reigning world champion Marquez was absent from FP1 and will not appear this afternoon after having had an operation on his broken right arm on Tuesday. The Honda rider will try to drive on Saturday before deciding whether or not to drive on Sunday.