Still wet, still cold and slightly less dreadful as the heavy rain had stopped, the second practice session for the premier class brought a new set of conditions to master.
Andrea Dovizioso was the quickest to assess the situation, the Italian heading to the top of the timesheets on his third lap, only four tenths slower than the morning’s benchmark. The Ducati man improved further after another handful of laps and broke into the 1:54s to set the fastest time of the weekend.
Rivals were left with over a second to recover in little under half an hour. Aleix Espargaro made the first move to cut the gap to eight tenths before Johann Zarco got as close as five tenths in the final fifteen minutes, but neither one got the best of Dovizioso.
Marc Marquez started off a little calmer, playing with brake covers and leaving it late to improve on this FP1 time. The world champion eventually joined his title rival into the 1:54s, only four hundredths of a second separating the two as Marquez splashed around trying to take back the lead. His final attempt ended in the gravel trap in turn four, as seems to be his habit in FP2. The Honda man still finished the session second, a tenth ahead of the eldest Espargaro.
Jorge Lorenzo was another of the late improvers, the Spaniard ending up fourth, three tenths slower than his leading teammate. Zarco eventually dropped back to fifth but remained Yamaha’s top man in the pile. After missing out on some track time in FP1 following some mechanical trouble, Danilo Petrucci recovered to finish the second session sixth.
After showing flashes of speed in FP1, Andrea Iannone added some consistency to place Suzuki seventh, teammate Alex Rins also contributing with a top ten. Dani Pedrosa enjoyed the small change in conditions and climbed into eighth place, a significant improvement on his adventures this morning. The Spaniard was followed by Cal Crutchlow in ninth place.
Just outside of the top ten ended up the rest of the Yamahas, Maverick Viñales leading Valentino Rossi and Kohta Nozane, the trio within a tenth of each other and one and a half seconds down on Dovizioso.