In the warmer conditions, premier class riders were quick to improve on their best times from the morning session, although Alex Marquez’s FP1 benchmark lasted until the final shootout that got under way with seven minutes remaining. The Spaniard might have lost prime position but it stayed in the family, with Takaaki Nakagami setting a fine pace at the front of the pack and posting the first 1:47 time of the day. Maverick Vinales reduced the gap to under two tenths of a second in the closing stages of FP2 and was the only other rider in the 1:47s. Cal Crutchlow improved LCR’s day further, making a late jump into the top three, three tenths slower than his teammate.
Fabio Quartararo was in no rush to prove his speed and entered the final time attack in 15th position but promptly climbed to fourth, ahead of title rival Joan Mir, who completed the top five. Alex Rins finished the day only eighth thousandths of a second slower than his teammate with Iker Lecuona a surprise top KTM in seventh position. The Espargaro duo occupied eighth and ninth position, Aleix ahead of Pol on this occasion, while Alex Marquez rounded out the top ten, six tenths off top spot and only one thousandth of a second ahead of rookie rival Brad Binder. However, the Honda man was safely inside of the combined top ten, where he was sixth, courtesy of his great FP1 topping time.
Some of the people who were nowhere near the top ten were all of the men riding for Ducati, with all the factory machines outside of the top 15 and with Andrea Dovizioso leaving himself with a lot of work to do in FP3 to improve on 19th in the combined standings.