Thomas Luthi laid down a marker for his Moto2 rivals by dominating the first practice session for the Grand Prix of Spain.

The Swiss rider set a time of 1:43.528 in the early stages of the session which put him a second and a half clear of the field, and wasn't caught in the remaining 30 minutes.

In the end, it was Championship leader Stefan Bradl who was best of the rest, as the German closed to within 0.315 seconds of the Interwetten Paddock Moto2 rider.

Alex de Angelis, who pushed Luthi all the way for the final podium place in Qatar, was third fastest, leading an incredibly close pack of riders.

The JIR Moto2 man was just a second ahead of Kenny Noyes who was all the way down in 21st. That pack included Simone Corsi in fourth, with Mika Kallio an impressive fifth.

Surprisingly, The Finn outpaced teammate Scott Redding but the Brit was still a solid eighth.

Qatar runner-up Andrea Iannone was down in 12th place, but the Italian didn't light up the timesheets in Qatar until race day, so can't be ruled out.

The midfield pack included 125cc graduates Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith. The pair both made impressive starts to their Moto2 careers in Qatar and will be targeting points finishes this weekend.

After narrowly missing out on the podium two weeks ago, Yuki Takahashi was expected to perform strongly, especially after going well at the Andalucian circuit in testing. But the Gresini rider suffered a fall before having set a competitive time and finished down in 27th, , two places ahead of Brit Kev Coghlan

Italian Alex Baldolini also suffered an accident in FP1, as did wildcard rider Steven Odendaal, as the riders began their preparations for Sunday's race.