Scott Redding has topped the second session of free practice for the MotoGP class, with riders chasing a place in Q2 with an eye to the weather later this evening. With forecasts showing a chance of rain in FP3, almost everyone put on soft tires at the end and pushed for a fast lap.
That pursuit threw up several pleasant surprises. Scott Redding's switch to the Ohlins forks he used in 2016 is proving successful, the Pramac Ducati rider improving his time by near a second. Andrea Dovizioso, who regretted not using a soft tire on Thursday, saw his patience rewarded with the second fastest time, exactly a tenth of a second slower than Redding.
Two more satellite bikes filled out the top four, Jonas Folger leading his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Johann Zarco. Maverick Viñales followed in fifth, suffering his first crash on a Yamaha at an official event. Viñales got slight off line and into the dirty part of the track, and went down at Turn 4. He was uninjured, and got back on his spare bike once he got back to the pits.
Valentino Rossi kept the Yamaha group complete, the Movistar Yamaha rider taking sixth place and ensuring his place in Q2 at the moment. The change made last night to allow him to use the soft tire paid off, and was working in his fast run. Alvaro Bautista ended the session in seventh on the Aspar Ducati, just ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo looked unhappy in the pits, and was concerned to be half a second down and in eighth place. Marc Marquez was the fastest Honda rider home, setting the ninth fastest time, and finishing just ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia.
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, then these are the riders which are currently through to Q2: Viñales, Marquez, Redding, Dovizioso, Folger, Pedrosa, Zarco, Rossi, Bautista, Lorenzo.