A somewhat overcast Sachsenring looked like a much more familiar sight for Marc Marquez, who went under circuit record only three laps into the session, leaving rivals to play catch-up. Not much catch-up was played until the final five minutes, when new rubber started to be donned throughout the field in an attempt to snatch a top ten position and ideally the crown off the world champion. Jorge Lorenzo finally dethroned the king in the final two minutes while Marquez was still circulating on used rear rubber and letting his usual Friday strategy unfold, including various tyre options and a save for good measure.
With Lorenzo leading the charge for Ducati in spectacular fashion, Danilo Petrucci also found some speed to complete their domination, two tenths off his factory colleague. After topping FP1, Andrea Iannone saved a mediocre session with a late jump into third position, ahead of yet another Ducati in the form of Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian four tenths off his leading teammate and only four hundredths of a second ahead of Marquez.
Maverick Viñales was the last man within half a second of Lorenzo, with Takaaki Nakagami showing excellent pace to climb into seventh position. Despite his recently busy schedule, the Honda rider finished the session ahead Jack Miller and teammate Cal Crutchlow. Meanwhile, Alvaro Bautista popped up in the shop window once again by going as high as second on the timesheets in FP2 but the Spaniard could not find as much improvement as his rivals in the final run and dropped down to tenth position.
Alex Rins progressed somewhat into eleventh place, leading the Espargaro brothers with the KTM representative ahead. Nine tenths down on Lorenzo and quite a bit lower down on the timesheets finished Valentino Rossi, the Italian starting off in the top five before being demoted to 17th position but in familiar company ahead of Johann Zarco. Dani Pedrosa was only two places behind, with some unexpected competition from Stefan Bradl. The German got a surprise outing at his home race as Franco Morbidelli was declared unfit after attempting to run in FP1 despite his injury. The Honda test rider replaces the Marc VDS youngster for the rest of the weekend and he acquitted himself nicely, one and a half seconds off Lorenzo’s pace at the first attempt.