Andrea Iannone was the fastest man of the day on Friday in the MotoGP class, the factory Ducati rider putting in a scorching lap at the end of the session to take top spot. But Iannone had been quick throughout the session, stuck close behind both Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez when the two Spaniards were fastest, and finding a bit extra to ensure he went into qualifying as favorite.
Jorge Lorenzo ended the session as second quickest, after posting a time that looked certain to be good enough to take top spot with a few minutes to go. But the Movistar Yamaha man found himself bested by Iannone in the hectic final rush of the session, as the riders hustled to set a quick time ensuring passage to Q2. Lorenzo did get the better of Marc Marquez, the Honda rider having found an improvement since yesterday, but coming up just short of Lorenzo.
Andrea Dovizioso ended the session in fourth, three tenths off his factory Ducati teammate, and a fraction ahead of the Suzuki of Maverick Viñales. Dani Pedrosa took sixth spot, just under half a second off the pace of Iannone, and less than a tenth quicker than Valentino Rossi, the Movistar Yamaha rider slipping down the order on the second day. Hector Barbera and Scott Redding put two more Ducatis in the top ten, ending just ahead of Pol Espargaro on the Tech 3 Yamaha. Espargaro's teammate Bradley Smith had a sizable smash towards the end of the session, which prevented him from progressing. Jack Miller also had a big crash, though he too walked away unhurt.
While there is a good mix of manufacturers in the top ten, with four different bikes in the top five, the top speed rankings are dominated by Ducati. Andrea Iannone tops the speed charts with a maximum of 350.3 km/h, followed by seven of the eight Ducatis on the grid. The only Ducati not at the top is Loris Baz, whose size works against him a little. The fastest non-Ducati rider is Bradley Smith, who is 10.9 km/h slower than Iannone. How much top speed matters is open to question: Iannone is fastest with 350.3 km/h, Jorge Lorenzo is nineteenth fastest, with 335.6 km/h, some 14.7 km/h slower. But the difference in lap time is just 0.137 seconds, and Lorenzo is ahead of all of the other Ducatis.
Free practice is now over for the MotoGP class, and the field now move on to qualifying on Saturday. The top ten automatically go through to Q2, while the remaining eleven riders have to fight their way through Q1, the two fastest in the session qualifying for Q2.