After Marc Marquez caused many raised eyebrows, frown lines and headshakes with his otherworldly performance in FP1, the world champion allowed a more earthy half a second gap to separate him from the opposition for most of FP2. However, a bit of enthusiasm overflow at turn eight saw Marquez slide out and allow rivals a handful of minutes to catch up. Marquez rejoined the action on his second machine for the final ten minutes but was not really attacking a fast time on the hard rear tyre and this allowed Maverick Viñales a turn in the limelight.
The Yamaha man took over the top of the timesheets in the final couple of minutes and in a flashback to Misano, Yamaha scored a 1-2-3 in FP2. Valentino Rossi took his sweet time but eventually saved a top ten position with an impressive second place, coming only six hundredths of a second short of top spot, while Fabio Quartararo also made a late jump into the top three, the Yamaha trio separated by a tenth of a second.
Marquez got demoted to fourth position, although he is still over a second ahead on the combined timesheets and demonstrating fine pace on the soft rear tyre. Pol Espargaro is once again at the business end in fifth, with pals Jack Miller and Cal Crutchlow joining the top seven. Andrea Dovizioso didn’t look exactly carefree in his chase of a top ten position but the Italian eventually snuck into eighth spot.
Compatriots Joan Mir and Aleix Espargaro completed the provisional top ten, leaving Alex Rins, Danilo Petrucci and Franco Morbidelli outside of direct Q2 spots and with some rain on the radar for Saturday morning.