In mixed conditions that saw one-third of the field spend more time in the pits than on the track, Dani Pedrosa seized the top time of the session at the Motegi circuit in Japan. Pedrosa's 1'48.136 topped second-place Scott Redding's best lap -- also set at the end of the drying, afternoon FP2 -- by more that half a second but still remained three seconds from the top laps of FP1.
And that is why the 2018 championship leaders Honda's Marc Marquez (1) and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso (2) remained among the cluster of riders who never left the pits for the 40-minute afternoon practice; there was little information to be gained in the damp, varied conditions. It's also why Yamaha factory teammates Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, 14th and 15th respectively, completed the session on their full wet tires. There wasn't a good reason to switch to slicks in drying conditions that would not allow either of the pair to set a top time.
Ducati riders Danilo Petrucci amd Jack Miller however didn't share that belief, entering FP2 late as a dry line started to emerge to set the third and fourth fastest times. Miller led the session with five minutes left. Johan Zarco (5th) finished the second practice in a similar state to his first: In the top five and as the fastest Yamaha.
Only 16 riders left the pits and set an official lap time in the damp session.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||45||Scott REDDING||Aprilia||1'48.635||0.499 / 0.499|
|3||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||1'48.939||0.803 / 0.304|
|4||43||Jack MILLER||Ducati||1'49.022||0.886 / 0.083|
|5||5||Johann ZARCO||Yamaha||1'49.133||0.997 / 0.111|
|6||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||Yamaha||1'49.387||1.251 / 0.254|
|7||38||Bradley SMITH||KTM||1'49.573||1.437 / 0.186|
|8||10||Xavier SIMEON||Ducati||1'50.154||2.018 / 0.581|
|9||12||Thomas LUTHI||Honda||1'50.482||2.346 / 0.328|
|10||50||Sylvain GUINTOLI||Suzuki||1'50.578||2.442 / 0.096|
|11||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Ducati||1'50.694||2.558 / 0.116|
|12||89||Katsuyuki NAKASUGA||Yamaha||1'51.652||3.516 / 0.958|
|13||42||Alex RINS||Suzuki||1'53.586||5.450 / 1.934|
|14||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||1'54.078||5.942 / 0.492|
|15||25||Maverick VIÑALES||Yamaha||1'54.133||5.997 / 0.055|
|16||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||Honda||1'54.758||6.622 / 0.625|