As the top class took to the slightly warmer track compared to the morning session, it didn’t take long for the Ducatis to beat the first practice time by over two seconds, Andrea Dovizioso on top, followed closely by his fellow Andrea who still shares his garage. Both Italians set a string of fast 1:24s, no one able to match their rhythm.
Times dropped in the final few minutes of mock-up qualifying session, with FP1 leader Maverick Viñales finishing almost nine tenths away from the leader, showing once again how strong Ducati were in the afternoon session. The Spaniard had Valentino Rossi breathing down his neck, metaphorically, the Italian a hundredth of a second away in fourth position.
Fifth place went to the top Honda, that being – surprisingly perhaps – Cal Crutchlow, the Brit over a second off Dovizioso’s time. He was closely followed by Danilo Petrucci and Hector Barbera. Together with Pirro in ninth, that made five Ducati bikes in the top ten.
Few were less excited by those fifteen degrees in temperature than Jorge Lorenzo and his front end confidence issues but the world champion made some decent progress to climb into eighth position, setting an identical time as Ducati’s wildcard rider.
The last intruder in the top ten Ducati party was championship leader Marc Marquez, who failed to improve on the time he set early into the session and finished in tenth, almost a second and a half off Iannone’s time but without fitting new tyres towards the end. Teammate Dani Pedrosa endured a dreadful session after the morning crash, ending up in nineteenth position.