The 50 degrees of track temperature did not seem too inviting for the riders or the Michelins but they got the job done in the second session of the day for the premier class. Marc Marquez picked up where he left off – at the top of the timesheets but the Ducatis didn’t allow him too much breathing space with Danilo Petrucci half a tenth behind for most of the session. However, times were not quite tumbling compared to the morning session until riders threw fresh soft rubber at it for the final five minutes. Petrucci managed to beat FP1’s benchmark with three minutes left on the clock but the red flag waved soon due to strange crashes at turn five for Karel Abraham and Bradley Smith.
With the countdown restarting at 02:42, riders only got one flying lap to make a difference on the timesheets. No one managed to change the top four, Petrucci showing the way to teammate Andrea Dovizioso, while Cal Crutchlow recovered from a slow start to jump into third as top Honda. Marquez did the opposite of his rivals, starting the session on soft rubber and finishing on hard tyres but the Spaniard managed to hang on to fourth position, two tenths off the lead.
Maverick Vinales took advantage of his final flying lap to climb into fifth after an underwhelming session, with fellow Yamaha of Fabio Quartararo trailing him by a tenth of a second. Wildcard Stefan Bradl made Honda proud with an impressive seventh place, ahead of colleagues Takaaki Nakagami and Jorge Lorenzo. Pecco Bagnaia completed the top ten and the apprentice did better than the master in FP2, Valentino Rossi having another low key session in 14th position. Things did not look much brighter at Suzuki, with COTA victor Alex Rins down in 16th, one place ahead of Joan Mir, the rookie ending his Friday with an odd tumble through the gravel trap.