Some new names added a bit of spice to the top of the standings in the second practice session for the premier class in Misano. While usual contenders like Fabio Quartararo or Pol Espargaro took early turns in the lead, it was Brad Binder who eventually robbed them of the headline after benefitting from a fine tow from a rapid Maverick Vinales. Takaaki Nakagami brought a smile to the HRC side of the paddock as he trailed the South African by only two thousandths of a second. Quartararo might have been demoted to third, but his race pace was unrivalled, not even future teammate Maverick Vinales able to do better, although the Spaniard was busy playing with the new exhaust and carbon fibre swingarm brought by Yamaha. Pol Espargaro got his session back on track after an early tumble at turn 13, making it four factories in the top five and covered by a mere seven hundredths of a second.
Danilo Petrucci found some speed to climb into a more respectable sixth place, ahead of Miguel Oliveira and Johann Zarco, the Frenchman’s late attack pushing Pecco Bagnaia out of the combined top ten. Joan Mir was one of a handful of riders who could not go any faster than in FP1 but did well enough for ninth in the session and stayed in the provisional Q2 positions. Franco Morbidelli was in the same boat, not really featured in the FP2 spotlight but safely in the combined top ten despite finishing the session 14th.
While improving to only six tenths off the lead, Valentino Rossi was in 12th spot, ahead of Jack Miller, while Alex Rins and Andrea Dovizioso’s struggle continues outside of the top 15 positions in FP2.