Thomas Luthi was in a class of his own on Friday in Barcelona as he totally dominated the two free practice sessions. The Swiss rider is just three points off the championship lead after his victory at Le Mans and on current form, will fancy his chances of leaving Catalunya in front at the end of the weekend.
The Interwetten rider was at his quickest during first practice, setting a 1:46.597 to lead Pol Espargaro by half a second, and topped the second session as well despite crashing late on. His quickest lap in the afternoon was still way quicker than anyone else could manage though with Espargaro and Scott Redding the only riders within a second of him.
Half a second covered the next dozen riders in the running order with Andrea Iannone fourth quickest ahead of Alex de Angelis. Mike Di Meglio was sixth overall but failed to improve from his FP1 performance, although he wasn't alone in that respect.
Seventh placed Takaaki Nakagami did set his fastest time in FP2 but the next two riders behind him, Mika Kallio and Johann Zarco fared better in the morning. The same could be said of Marc Marquez but in truth, the championship favourite wasn't troubling the leaders in either session. A 1:47.953 in first practice was as good as it got for the Spaniard and he ended the day sixteenth overall, one place ahead of Bradley Smith.
Gino Rea, after shining in the wet at Le Mans two weeks ago, couldn't replicate that performance in the dry today and finished the afternoon in 28th.