FP1 felt like a bad dream by the time FP2 came about, with clear stretches of blue sky, dry asphalt and fairings shining in the sun. Slick tyres finally got their moment for the first and possibly only dry practice session of the weekend and most of the attention was focused on the pursuit of a top time for direct Q2 qualification.
After a more subdued Friday morning, Aron Canet unleashed his speed in the afternoon session to become the early leader, at least until the mid-session stint of tandem riding from the Leopard machines, when first Lorenzo Dalla Porta and then Marcos Ramirez took over. The Petronas squad had the advantage through John McPhee going into the mini time attack for the final ten minutes but Canet got the memo and swiftly retrieved top position.
Once Canet made the decisive move, the rest of the field could only achieve personal best times, the best of which brought title rival Dalla Porta within three tenths of a second. Arenas overcame a difficult morning spent mostly in the gravel trap to secure third in FP2, four tenths off the lead. Niccolo Antonelli continued his comeback from injury with a solid fourth position, a tenth faster than teammate Tatsuki Suzuki. Andrea Migno joined the top six positions, ahead of McPhee and with Romano Fenati also finding a route to eighth, in spite of his recent convalescence.
Dennis Foggia and Gabriel Rodrigo rounded out the top ten as the final men within a second of the leader. The final provisional Q2 tickets went to Stefano Nepa, Celestino Vietti, Kaito Toba and Ramirez, with Darryn Binder missing out by one hundredth of a second. Tony Arbolino faded after excelling in the wet and could not do any better than 17th.
|2||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||1'37.090||0.281||0.281|
|30||9||Yanni SHAW||Kalex KTM||1'42.583||5.774||2.630|
|15||Rogan CHANDLER||Kalex KTM||1'44.903||8.094||2.320|