Sunny Misano welcomed the racket of MotoGP machines and the enduring rivalry between Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez, the duo starting proceedings by trading top spot for the first 10 minutes. Things settled with the Frenchman narrowly ahead as focus turned to long runs and Vinales was the only one within reach of the leaders at this point. Quartararo took advantage of the recent Misano test to perfect his setup for the race and the head start secured him top spot at the checkered flag and a hot pace in the mid 1:33s. Marquez settled for second and showed glimpses of that same pace on medium tyres but the Spaniard kept getting distracted by twitches, track limits and Alex Rins.
Vinales was best of the rest and the only other rider within half a second of the leader, the Spaniard’s excellent pace going a bit under the radar but putting him ahead of familiar wildcard Michele Pirro. Aleix Espargaro went one better than his brother to claim fifth, while Pol Espargaro benefitted from some early laps behind the world champion to secure sixth spot.
Franco Morbidelli and Danilo Petrucci were the final riders to finish within a second of Quartararo, while Valentino Rossi and Tito Rabat rounded out the top ten. The Spaniard’s achievement was offset by a late crash but he still finished ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian taking it easy on his return after the scary incident on Sunday at Silverstone. British GP victor Alex Rins was over a second slower than the FP1 leader and finished 12th, ahead of Pecco Bagnaia and the welcome return of Joan Mir. The rookie finished just one tenth behind his teammate and ahead of Jack Miller and Cal Crutchlow.