After the morning session offered some insight into the soft and medium rear tyres, it was the hard’s time to shine in FP2. And its time in the sun started with a dramatic high-side for the reigning world champion, Marc Marquez thrown off his Honda in fast turn four, on his first timed lap.
Meanwhile, Cal Crutchlow was the first rider of the day into the 2:01s, on the same hard tyre combination as his factory colleague. After limping away and getting straight aboard his second machine, Marquez gave it another go on a medium rear and only needed two laps to join Crutchlow in the top two. Two more laps and the world champion was into the lead, as if determined to prove to himself he doesn’t scare easily. More to that point, Marquez went out on the final run on the tyres he crashed on, got within a tenth of his best time and then slipped off harmlessly again in the final minute.
Crutchlow was keen on some home headlines by putting on a hard front with a soft rear in the final few minutes and grabbing the lead once again, this time keeping it to the flag.
Back in the Yamaha camp, Valentino Rossi sampled the hard rear option early in the session, while teammate Maverick Viñales opted for the soft, both posting similar times. Both riders stuck to their tyre choices for their second run and while Viñales sneaked ahead of his teammate on the timesheets, Rossi was posting some consistent mid 2:02s. The Italian was eager to ensure a top ten position by putting on a soft rear in the final few minutes and going second, two tenths down on Crutchlow. Viñales finished third, only three hundredths of a second behind his teammate.
Aleix Espargaro was a welcome addition to the top four, despite getting a mid-session doctor’s visit due to a rib injury he mysteriously acquired. Marquez had to settle for fifth place and missed the proposed flag-to-flag procedure practice having crashed both of his bikes.
Ducati proved to be only the fourth fastest factory of the afternoon, the Italian team led by Jorge Lorenzo into sixth spot, seven tenths down on the leader. Pol Espargaro threw a KTM into the top seven mix, nine tenths slower than the LCR Honda rider at the top.
Johann Zarco finally put his beloved soft shoes on and scored a top eight, Andrea Dovizioso and Scott Redding adding two Ducatis to complete the top ten. Suzuki probably had better ideas to celebrate their 1-year win anniversary but Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins made a step from FP1 and finished just outside the top ten, one second down, but faster than Dani Pedrosa, who seemed to struggle in seventeenth position.