The sun was all out by the time the premier class got action underway for the final time on Friday and it was all bright and shiny in the Honda camp at least. Marc Marquez headed out and improved on the morning’s benchmark straight away. By lap five, the world champion had dropped into the 1:38s to put over six tenths of a second into the pursuers. Teammate Dani Pedrosa quickly brought that gap down to under four tenths, with the LCR ride of Cal Crutchlow putting Honda in prime position after the first run of the afternoon. The status quo was maintained for the second run, with Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone nudging in between the two Repsol Honda men only briefly.
The final seven minutes were reserved for a time attack, Crutchlow striking first on a new soft rear tire and securing top position in the session. Pedrosa gave it a couple of goes at challenging the lead and climbed back to second while demonstrating good race pace. Johann Zarco had been steadily climbing inside the top ten until his favourite soft-soft combination made a late appearance and catapulted him into third spot.
Andrea Iannone is becoming a familiar sight into the top four, the Italian showing both speed and decent pace throughout his runs in FP2. The Suzuki’s performance also ensured that the top four riders were covered by barely a tenth of a second. While his rivals were focused on a late run on fresh rubber, Marquez stuck to his used mediums until gently sliding his bike through the scenery at turn six with two minutes to go. Once the habitual Marquez tumble was checked off, the Spaniard was left with fairly impressive pace throughout the session.
Andrea Dovizioso started off the session on used tires but firmly into the top six. The championship leader initially struggled to improve on his FP1 time but his time attack helped him retrieve sixth position on the timesheets. He was followed closely – as close as eight thousandths of a second – by teammate Jorge Lorenzo in seventh spot. Jack Miller followed up on a good morning with an equally impressive lap in FP2 to score eighth position.
The factory Yamahas did not look fully comfortable in the early part of the session and spent a significant amount of time out of the top ten positions. They just about snuck back in with Valentino Rossi ninth and Maverick Viñales tenth. After a fantastic morning session, Pol Espargaro was knocking at the doors of the top ten in FP2, only two hundredths of a second behind the Yamahas.