The night had truly fallen by the time the intermediate class basked in the floodlights of Qatar and it placed the spotlight firmly on the American Racing team. Joe Roberts, who had already showed fine speed in the first practice session, went on to improve the all time lap record in FP2, dropping to the mid 1:58s and remaining unchallenged for the rest of the session. Teamwork made the minor dream work for the Sky Racing crew as well, Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini riding together into the second and third positions, although a quarter of a second slower than the leader.
Tetsuta Nagashima in fourth was the last rider to touch the 1:58s, while Xavi Vierge recovered from a troubled start in FP1 to climb into fifth in FP2. It was a mixed session for Augusto Fernandez, who led the way early on but battered his new machine through the gravel trap at turn 5 and ended the session 15 minutes early, dropping to sixth position. Bo Bendsneyder climbed a few places in the pecking order to grab seventh, while Enea Bastianini, Nicolo Bulega and Jorge Martin completed the top ten, seven tenths off the lead.
FP1 leader Tom Luthi didn’t have an easy ride the second time out, the Swiss rider sliding off at turn 14 early in the session, missing significant track time and then going down again at turn 2 once he rejoined the action for the final few minutes. With only five laps on the board and down in 26th in the session, Luthi was saved by his FP1 time, placing him 11th on the combined timesheets.
The rest of provisional top 14 positions at the end of Friday were secured by Jorge Navarro, Marcel Schrotter and rapid rookie Aron Canet, with Lorenzo Baldassarri just missing out by two hundredths of a second. Remy Gardner looked like a safe bet for a Q2 worthy position but a pretty heavy late crash out of turn one impeded his progress and dropped him to 16th spot overall.
|11||9||Jorge NAVARRO||Speed Up||1'59.189||0.768||0.041|
|14||44||Aron CANET||Speed Up||1'59.278||0.857||0.041|
|15||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Speed Up||1'59.284||0.863||0.006|
|22||24||Simone CORSI||MV Agusta||1'59.839||1.418||0.130|
|24||62||Stefano MANZI||MV Agusta||2'00.160||1.739||0.140|
|27||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||Speed Up||2'00.396||1.975||0.134|
|28||19||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Kalex||2'00.804||2.383||0.408|
|29||27||Andi Farid IZDIHAR||Kalex||2'01.265||2.844||0.461|
|30||99||Kasma Daniel KASMAUDIN||Kalex||2'02.886||4.465||1.621|