Stefan Bradl made the perfect start to his big weekend in Valencia by topping the timesheets in a frantic first practice session. The German needs to score three points to guarantee the championship, assuming Marc Marquez races, and that should be a mere formality based on his form in FP1.
With the track still drying out, Bradl chose to do precious little running in the first half hour, allowing Xavier Simeon to set the pace on the Tech 3 Mistral 610, trading times with Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez.
Alex de Angelis also had a spell at the front before Randy Krummenacher obliterated his time on dry tyres, going more than two seconds quicker than the Motobi. The Swiss rider eventually got down to a 1:42.786 which gave him a three second advantage over Anthony West but other riders had also taken the slick tyre route and began to close the gap.
Kenny Noyes got to within a second on his final lap but De Angelis managed to go quickest of all on a 1:42.688. Krummenacher responded with a 1:42.106 but Kiefer teammate Bradl found a further three tenths on his last attempt to finish the morning on top.
Mattia Pasini jumped up to fourth in the closing stages with Dominique Aegerter pipping Noyes for fifth. Kenan Sofuoglu was seventh on the second Technomag-CIP Suter ahead of Anthony West and Michele Pirro, the Italian leading the way for Gresini on an emotional weekend for the Italian squad.
Mika Kallio completed the top ten, two places ahead of teammate Scott Redding while Bradley Smith finished down in 23rd, opting only to complete five laps to protect his recently injured collarbone.