Day 2 in Valencia started with doom and gloom – even if you weren’t Yamaha – but with rain having stopped before the action got underway, asphalt got a chance to very slowly dry out. Times steadily improved throughout the session, however, it was not enough for slick tyres and no one challenged the combined top 10 from Friday. Johann Zarco finished FP3 at the top of the timesheets by over seven tenths of a second from the nearest challenger, who was Maverick Vinales despite the impending pitlane start. Takaaki Nakagami was the lead Honda in third position and over a second slower than the leading Frenchman but the only man in the top 3 who had secured a Q2 position on Friday.
Pecco Bagnaia seemed to be enjoying the damp track more than the dry ones of late and climbed up to fourth in the session, with Cal Crutchlow joining the top five. Miguel Oliveira was one of the early leaders of the session before dropping back to sixth, ahead of rookie Alex Marquez and a Covid-free Valentino Rossi. Alex Rins and Joan Mir completed the top 10 of the session and in addition to Nakagami, the Suzuki duo were the only other riders in the session’s top 10 who had secured Q2 positions.
Early session leader Stefan Bradl dropped to 11th in the closing stages, while Andrea Dovizioso in 12th spot was over two seconds slower than the leader but safely inside Q2 positions based on his Friday benchmark. Despite being nowhere near the front in FP3, the likes of Pol Espargaro, Franco Morbidelli, Aleix Espargaro, Fabio Quartararo, Brad Binder and Jack Miller will also feature directly in Q2 later today. While Miller stayed the fastest man overall, the Pramac rider opted to sit out the entire session and avoid taking any unnecessary risks. On the other hand, Quartararo put in 20 laps but finished over three seconds slower than his leading compatriot and not enjoying the conditions very much.