Suzuki’s Joan Mir grabbed the holeshot for the first start, though had to relinquish his lead to Pramac’s Jack Miller for running off at Turn 1 and gaining an advantage.
Mir was then demoted by Takaaki Nakagami on lap four, though the Suzuki soon rallied and by the end of the tour was once again in the lead.
He was able to open up a lead of over two seconds by the end of lap 16 before the red flag brought the race to a halt after Maverick Vinales suffered a scary crash at Turn 1.
Having seemingly been battling brake issues all race, Vinales was forced to jump off his Yamaha at 130mph when it wouldn’t slow, with the bike bursting into flames as it hit the air fence.
Restarted over 12 laps, Mir took the lead again from Miller off the line, though the Ducati moved ahead into Turn 4.
The Pramac rider fitted fresh softs to the front and rear of his bike, while Mir had to suffer with a medium front that had already done 18 laps.
Mir could do nothing to fend of the riders behind coming through, with Espargaro on the KTM and Oliveira moving through to chase down Miller by lap six.
Espargaro, who was struggling to run the pace of the leaders before the red flag, blasted past Miller at the final corner on lap seven having made a failed attempt at Turn 1 the lap before.
The factory KTM rider ran a…