Once again the weather screwed with the premier class, the sunshine that covered the Moto3 session mixing with spots of rain in the kickoff of FP2. That meant the first few minutes of the session were lost to setup changes and tyre swaps, only a handful of riders going around straight away on rain tyres.
The title contenders were cautious, first Valentino Rossi then Maverick Viñales and Marc Marquez joining the track ten minutes into the session. Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa bided their time a bit more while watching their rivals kicking up significant spray.
Usually fearless in the wet, Danilo Petrucci was an early leader of the session, until Marc Marquez once again stole his lead to go over a second faster after the first third of the session. His first real challenger was the familiar face of Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian getting within three hundredths of a second of his main rival on only his fourth lap. Marquez had none of that and promptly went half a second faster.
The rain had stopped halfway through the session and the track was drying, albeit slowly. Joining the action late, Dani Pedrosa was out of sync with his rivals, the Spaniard getting within a tenth of a second of his teammate while most other riders were in the pits. Cal Crutchlow made it a Honda 1-2-3 after the Brit jumped into third in the final six minutes but the feat didn’t last long, improved conditions seeing lots of red sector times being set.
The likes of Marquez and Dovizioso did not go out for a final try, leaving their teammates to do the business. Jorge Lorenzo was the first to lay down a marker but Pedrosa got the best of him and went two tenths faster than the Ducati man. The Honda veteran ended up topping the session with the only 1:59 time of the day, his compatriot following two tenths down.
Johann Zarco made a late move into third spot on this final lap, the Frenchman being the last rider to post a time within half a second of Pedrosa. Marquez ended up six tenths behind his teammate and only narrowly ahead of Karel Abraham, the Aspar rider benefiting from a guided tour from the session leader.
Cal Crutchlow dropped into sixth spot, ahead of another impressive display from compatriot Sam Lowes in seventh position. Dovizioso slipped back to eighth, over a second down on Pedrosa, after also skipping the second run, with the Espargaro brothers completing the top ten, the Aprilia of Aleix leading the KTM of Pol.
If Rossi was astounding onlookers with his early wet weather pace given his physical condition, the Yamaha did not look entirely happy splashing about. Teammate Viñales spent much of the session in last place, over three seconds slower than the leaders, only (relatively) saving his day in the final two laps, when he jumped into seventeenth, over a second and a half down on Pedrosa. After being ahead of his teammate for most of the afternoon, Rossi dropped back to twentieth position, another three tenths behind Viñales.