It was a dry start for the second practice session of the day but black clouds threatened riders as they left pitlane. That meant soft slick tyres were getting stressed straight away, in an early bid to secure a precious top 10 placement but the weather let them run around on a dry playground for a while longer. Although the clouds stayed to spectate for the remainder of the session, they didn’t take centre stage and the premier class could battle it out in a final time attack that ended in a French 1-2, with Johann Zarco snatching top spot away from compatriot Fabio Quartararo by less than a tenth of a second. Yamaha enjoyed their afternoon much more than the wet morning, seeing all four machines inside the top 10, although Quartararo also suffered a little crash at popular turn 3. Maverick Viñales added a second Yamaha to the top three, while Pol Espargaro missed out by one thousandth of a second, the Honda man showing good speed throughout the session.
Franco Morbidelli eventually joined the top 10 for the final five minutes, ending the session fifth, while Miguel Oliveira was the sole KTM provisionally in Q2 from sixth position. After outsmarting rivals in FP1, Jack Miller had it all to do all over again in FP2 and it didn’t prove as easy the second time around. The Ducati man took time to join the top 10 and when he did, he promptly crashed at turn 7 and his fastest time got cancelled for a yellow flag infringement. However, the final time attack allowed him to climb back into seventh position.
Marc Marquez kept himself entertained with some off-roading at Garage Vert, which hampered his progress in the early part of the session but the Spaniard recovered to climb into eighth place, eight tenths of a second off top spot. Valentino Rossi served us a rarity as he joined the top 10 in the closing stages of FP2, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami and pushing out Alex Rins. The Spaniard did not help his cause by crashing out at turn 3 and teammate Joan Mir soon followed his example at turn 8, leaving both Suzukis provisionally out of Q2. Championship leader Pecco Bagnaia found himself in the same position, the Italian joining the gravel trap at turn 3 early in the session and although he rejoined the action, he could not improve on 12th position. Turn 3 also got two visits from Aleix Espargaro, the frustrated Aprilia man left in 14th place by his two mishaps.