The clouds were still at a safe distance by the time the intermediate class came out to play, although parts of the circuit looked darker and darker as things progressed. Last year’s poleman Mattia Pasini had another one of those sessions where he shot into the lead soon after the start only to fade throughout the session. The Italian was first demoted by Fabio Quartararo as the Frenchman made a return to the sharp end but it was a fleeting success once Pecco Bagnaia came to the fore to grab the headlines.
Lorenzo Baldassarri made a late jump up the timesheets to trail his flatmate by six hundredths of a second, with Marcel Schrotter once again a main protagonist in third. Alex Marquez equalled Quartararo’s best time but snuck ahead of him on the timing screens by virtue of his next best lap and much greater consistency throughout the session.
On a notably different circuit to the scene of his most recent success, Luca Marini started celebrating his birthday by challenging Pasini for the lead in the early part of the session before slipping back to sixth position. Andrea Locatelli had another excellent performance in the last minute shootout to climb into seventh spot and kept Sam Lowes at bay by only one thousandth of a second. Jorge Navarro was ninth despite only being two and half tenths slower than the leader.
Pasini looked set for a late personal best but the Italtrans rider went down into turn six on his final lap and lost the opportunity to improve on tenth position. The likes of Joan Mir and new championship leader Miguel Oliveira did not look to be in a hurry to join the top ten but their 15th and 16th positions - with identical times - did not tell the full story as they finished within half a second of Bagnaia.
|5||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||Speed Up||1'30.568||0.127|
|19||52||Danny KENT||Speed Up||1'31.080||0.639||0.003|
|22||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||1'31.221||0.780||0.024|
|24||87||Remy GARDNER||Tech 3||1'31.475||1.034||0.019|
|28||64||Bo BENDSNEYDER||Tech 3||1'32.022||1.581||0.270|