After rain fell on and off during the morning practice sessions, a dry line and significant sunshine were visible as the MotoGP class explored the track conditions at the start of FP2. Slicks were immediately judged to be the correct option and eyes quickly turned back to the Ducati garage, a red sheet promising to hide the much anticipated aerodynamic fairing.
Despite the improved conditions, the bulk of riders took their time to join the action, leaving a handful to run laps and dry the track. Sunshine encouraged the rest to leave their garages in the final 30 minutes and a festival of red sectors was unleashed.
The Repsol Honda duo appeared to have the upper hand initially, after the private test they did at the track in recent weeks, Dani Pedrosa leading Marc Marquez at the top of the timesheets, the two joined by Cal Crutchlow’s sister Honda soon after. That wasn’t to last though.
With the weather proving unpredictable in Brno, the final part of the session saw some fast runs to secure a provisional Q2 spot. The Ducatis were the first to spoil the provisional Honda top three, first Danilo Petrucci then Andrea Dovizioso taking over the lead soon after. The factory rider kept top position to the flag, while Jonas Folger sneaked ahead of Petrucci to take second place, despite a handful of cancelled laps due to track limits infringements.
Johann Zarco was also aided into his fourth position by a new set of soft tyres, the Frenchman followed by Hector Barbera and Scott Redding. Pedrosa ended up as top Honda in seventh position, six tenths behind the leader, closely followed by Crutchlow in eighth spot.
Aleix Espargaro got into the top nine, just ahead of the reigning world champion, Marquez one of the few riders not to put on a new soft rear in the final part of the session, the Honda sticking to the medium option. He narrowly managed to hang on to a top ten spot, a safety feature in case Saturday morning’s weather causes trouble.
Maverick Viñales got as close as eighth hundredths of a second to depose his arch enemy but had to settle for eleventh position, with teammate Valentino Rossi in fourteenth and over a second slower than Dovizioso.
Jorge Lorenzo finally gave the new Ducati fairing a go in the final ten minutes, using it to climb into fifteenth position, two tenths off Rossi.