Menacing clouds were lurking in the background of FP2 and with teams very aware of weather warnings, there was a lot of soft rubber coming out of blankets for a precautionary time attack at the start of the session. The newly crowned world champion was on the offensive straight away, after some initial tyre confusion in the Honda garage, and he snatched the top of the timesheets early on. Danilo Petrucci then found some enthusiasm in the final half of the session but rain stayed away and invited to another little tango for the top ten. At the end of the night/afternoon, Fabio Quartararo’s Yamaha was the queen of the dance, the Frenchman’s final flying lap putting him at the top of the pile into the 1:44s and subsequently into the gravel trap at turn one.
Factory colleague Maverick Viñales was three tenths of a second slower but with similarly good pace on the medium-soft tyre combination, while Marquez halted the Yamaha domination from FP1, to some extent, by climbing into third. The Spaniard was also one of the few to give the hard rear tyre a roll but only briefly and with a moment at turn five. Andrea Dovizioso was so confident that he skipped the early time attack altogether and secured fourth in the final shootout. Valentino Rossi once again followed his compatriot’s example but the Yamaha veteran had a busy time in his garage and it left him with only one flying lap to make an impression on the timesheets. It was more than enough and the Italian safely joined the top five, ahead of apprentice Franco Morbidelli.
Despite a late fall at turn 12, Jack Miller stayed seventh, with Petrucci dropping to eighth. Joan Mir had another impressive lap up his sleeve and with it demoted teammate Alex Rins out of the top ten. With Aleix Espargaro securing the final provisional Q2 place, this leaves Rins, Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro in the danger zone in case the prediction of a fully wet Saturday morning becomes reality.