The final no-strings-attached outing for the premier class offered similar temperatures to expected race conditions, the tarmac truly sunbathing to 41 degrees. With the benefit of fresh hard rubber, Jorge Lorenzo took the reins of the session by over two tenths of a second from Andrea Iannone and never let it go. Lorenzo also fancied the soft front and put it to good use with impressive pace in the 1:48s. To his credit, Iannone’s Suzuki was the only one to split the four Ducatis in the top five and his albeit limited race run did not look half bad either.
Danilo Petrucci was the next red bike in third, with Andrea Dovizioso another hundredth of a second back. The Italian showed consistent pace on used hard rubber, which appeared similar to his Honda arch rival’s until Dovizioso started stringing together impressive red sectors in the final few laps. Jack Miller added another Ducati to the top five, four tenths back on his leading colleague.
Maverick Viñales’ sixth place seemed to suggest that his upcoming Q1 outing was a fluke, the Yamaha man holding both Repsol Hondas behind. This was partly due to Marc Marquez crossing off the weekly tumble by losing the front at turn seven some ten minutes into the session. Before the speedy crash, the Spaniard showed consistent rhythm on used hard rubber but his run was cut short by a couple of laps once he found himself riding battered bodywork back to the pits to get a makeover ahead of qualifying. The second outing was a more cautious affair given the circumstances and the Spaniard finished seventh, a tenth ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa and half a second off Lorenzo.
Cal Crutchlow completed the Honda trio in ninth, with Aleix Espargaro rounding out the top ten. Significantly lower down the timesheets, Valentino Rossi’s day continued to be a struggle and the Italian lingered around 18th position all throughout the session.