Red Bull KTM Ajo's Raul Fernandez clinched top spot in the opening session of the Lenovo San Marino and Rimini Riviera Grand Prix, with the Spaniard a comfortable two tenths clear of Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) in second and over half a second clear of Red Bull KTM Tech 3's Ayumu Sasaki in third.
It was the first opportunity for the lightweight class to taste the freshly resurfaced Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli and Fernandez's 1:42.501 was impressively less than seven tenths of a second adrift of the fastest-ever Moto3™ lap, a 1:41.823 set by Jorge Martin on his way to pole position in 2018.
The 19-year-old's closest rivals were Rodrigo and Sasaki, with the Japanese rider's teammate, Deniz Öncü, not enjoying the same fortunes after the Turk crashed out, unhurt, in the opening moments of FP1. Petronas Sprinta Racing's John McPhee and victor last time out at the Red Bull Ring, SKY Racing Team VR46's Celestino Vietti, completed the top five with the pair both six tenths adrift of the pacesetter.
Pull&Bear Aspar Team's Stefano Nepa ended up sixth, ahead Rivacold Snipers Team's Tony Arbolino and World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Pull&Bear Aspar Team). Tatsuki Suzuki rolled out at Misano for the first time since his emotional debut win in 2019, and the SIC58 Squadra Corse man started his weekend with a lap good enough for ninth on the timesheets, nine tenths adrift of top spot. Taking the final spot inside the top ten was Estrella Galicia 0,0's Sergio Garcia.
FP1 top 10:
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:42.501
2. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.234
3. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.566
4. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.627
5. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.645
6. Stefano Nepa (Pull&Bear Aspar Team Moto3) + 0.793
7. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.799
8. Albert Arenas (Pull&Bear Aspar Team Moto3) + 0.817
9. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.899
10. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) + 0.917