Marc Marquez led the way in a wet opening practice session for the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao, the Spaniard leading his rivals by nearly four-tenths-of-a-second.
Marquez immediately looked comfortable in the slippery conditions relative to his rivals as he moved to the head of the times early on, a 1:51.219s coming as the track continued to dry out throughout the 45-minute test.
He would later get demoted back by VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi, though the Honda rider would soon get back ahead of the Italian by posting a 1:51.041s.
With more heavy rain expected before FP2 later on Friday afternoon, a strong position in the opening session of the weekend was important with the weather still uncertain for Saturday.
Joan Mir therefore was keen to maximise his chances on reaching the pole shootout without contesting Q1 by going quickest by just 0.010s as the test reached its climax, though just seconds later Marquez fired in a strong 1:50.666s tour to once again re-take the top spot by a commanding 0.375s, an effort that would not be beaten.
Mir held onto second ahead of Bezzecchi, while Johann Zarco also improved late on for Pramac Ducati to go fourth ahead of home hero Miguel Oliveria’s KTM.
Maverick Vinales again impressed for Aprilia in sixth ahead of Jorge Martin, while Francesco Bagnaia slipped to eighth in the closing seconds having posted a time initially good enough for second just moments earlier.
Jack Miller ended up ninth in the end, a crash at Turn 8 mid-way through the session not helping his cause – the bend also catching out Luca Marini at the end of the test.
Alex Marquez completed the top ten on his LCR Honda, while team-mate Takaaki Nakagami ended up 15th as the only other rider to crash during the 45-minutes, the Japanese suffering a nasty-looking high-side at Turn 9 early on – though luckily he walked away without injury.
Yamaha’s once again struggled in the wet conditions with Fabio Quartararo its highest classified rider all the way down in 18th just ahead of factory team-mate Franco Morbidelli, with Andrea Dovizioso only 22nd on the third 2022-spec M1 run by RNF Racing.
Remy Gardner showed strong speed on his Tech 3 KTM in 13th, the Aussie just shading championship leader Enea Bastianini’s Gresini-run Ducati.