Bright sunshine and a warmer track meant that the premier class riders were pretty damn quick right out the box, Marc Marquez bettering his FP1-topping time on only his sixth lap on a hard front/medium rear tyre combination. Teammate Dani Pedrosa followed him through while wearing his shoes the other way around, with a medium front and a hard rear.
Things calmed down soon after, in the lookout for some race pace, which both Hondas and the Ducati duo of Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso looked to have to spare, Dovizioso also giving the hard rear a good go to deal with the hotter conditions.
The final ten minutes saw the usual fast run to ensure a decent Q2 benchmark, with the notable exception of the Repsol Hondas who continued on used mediums. The world champion managed to also sneak in a front tuck through the gravel of turn sixteen. While Marquez was disobeying marshals, his teammate usurped his position but it wasn’t to last, Petrucci and Dovizioso coming through to make it a Ducati double instead.
After struggling outside the top five for most of the day, Maverick Viñales put his new mediums to good use to narrowly miss out on top position by five thousandths of a second. The honour remained Petrucci’s, with the championship leader in third.
The Honda duo dropped to fourth and fifth spots, with Pedrosa leading Marquez, while Cal Crutchlow followed up on an early crash with an honourable sixth position. Wildcard Michele Pirro didn’t quite replicate this morning’s excellent result but the Italian still finished safely inside the top ten in seventh place, three tenths down on the leader and two hundredths of a second ahead of teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
The final men to get a Q2 ticket in case of a rainy FP3 will be Andrea Iannone and Tito Rabat, with Aleix Espargaro and Johann Zarco narrowly missing out.