Frenchman Johann Zarco left it late as he jumped to the top of the leaderboard in FP1 at the Austrian round of the MotoGP World Championship.
Aprilia Racing's Maverick Viñales was third-fastest, a few hundredths of a second down on Quartararo. Alex Marquez was fourth ahead of championship challenger Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Ducati) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati) as the top six were covered by under half a second.
Viñales had set the very early pace before Enea Bastianini hit the top on the factory Lenovo Ducati.
Viñales then increased the pace to a 1:30.270s, while Monster Energy Yamaha's Quartararo and Takaaki Nakagami on the LCR Honda were also inside the top three during the first 10 minutes of the session.
Alex Marquez had an issue with the front of his Gresini Ducati with smoke coming from the area of the brake disc, forcing the Spaniard into the pits after only five minutes. Marquez, who won the Sprint race at Silverstone two weeks ago, has extended his contract with Gresini until the end of 2024.
2021 champion Quartararo knocked Viñales off the summit with just over half an hour to go, lapping in 1:30.237s on the YZR-M1, which was only three hundredths of a second quicker than the Aprilia man.
Japan's Nakagami was a tenth further adrift in third ahead of Zarco and Silverstone winner Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing).
World champion Francesco Bagnaia was in eighth on the Lenovo Ducati with under 20 minutes to go, one position behind team-mate Bastianini.
Augusto Fernandez was the first faller of the weekend on the GasGas Tech3 KTM at Turn 2.
Turn 4 was causing problems for several riders under braking on the downhill approach to the corner, with Aleix Espargaro running into the gravel followed almost immediately by RNF Aprilia's Miguel Oliveira.
Moments later, Marc Marquez had a big moment on the Repsol Honda at the same part of the course, with the six-time premier class champion running right up to the air fence in the gravel trap.
Marquez, who tried a new aerodynamic package, later crashed at Turn 4 after switching back to his regular RCV. The 30-year-old went down at slow speed in the gravel when he ran out of tarmac but was able to continue for the final minutes of the session.
Alex Marquez was back on track on the Gresini Ducati after his earlier issue with the Desmosedici and quickly made an impression on the time sheets, climbing to third with 12 minutes left.
There was little change in the lap times until Zarco improved dramatically to take over on his last lap, setting a benchmark that was 0.399s faster than Quartararo in second.
Bagnaia ended FP1 in eighth ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati).
In a disappointing start to the weekend for KTM at their home round, Brad Binder was 14th – 0.908s down on Zarco – with team-mate Jack Miller in 22nd.
Marquez was a lowly 22nd on the Repsol Honda, with Nakagami the leading rider for HRC in seventh as round 10 of the championship got underway.