After the rain - and even hail - in the early afternoon, the MotoGP riders found a dry track for the second free practice session in Qatar. Another 45 minutes useful for setting up their bikes and getting them ready for the qualifiers and the race as well as, for some, a chance to improve their times in order to secure a spot in Q2.
Like the Ducati riders, who were the protagonists of FP with Redding and Dovizioso. In fact, Scott was the fastest with a time of 1’55”085, which in any case is a solid 7 tenths faster than Viñales’ time yesterday, a sign that the track is in better conditions after the rain. Dovi - who had not put on soft tyres yesterday - also had his say, finishing an even tenth of a second behind the Pramac Briton.
Behind the two Reds came a quartet of Yamaha machines, with the two Tech3 satellite bikes ahead of the factory riders. In fact, the third best time went to Jonas Folger at 0”183 behind Redding, with the German preceding his teammate Johann Zarco by a tenth.
Viñales, on the other hand, had to settle - so to speak - for 5th place, 0”293 behind the leader. Maverick also had his first crash since beginning his adventure astride the Yamaha. The Spaniard went down on turn 4 at the beginning of the session, without suffering any consequences.
It was a step forward for Valentino, 6th and close to his teammate (36 thousandths between the two). Rossi proved to be cautiously optimistic after his difficulties yesterday and he seems to have found the right moves on his M1 for the moment.
Bautista finished with an excellent 7th place, about a half second behind the lead and 23 thousandths ahead of Lorenzo. A simple calculation is easy to make: the top 8 positions were swept by Ducati and Yamaha. The first ‘intruder’ was Marquez, 9th, ahead of Aleix Espargaró who closed out the top ten with his Aprilia.
Just shy of the leading 10 was Petrucci, ahead of the Hondas ridden by Miller and Abraham. The problems persist for Iannone and Suzuki, Andrea finished 15th ahead of Rins. Pedrosa also did poorly this session, finishing 19th. Bringing up the rear were Pol Espargaró (KTM), Sam Lowes (Aprilia) and Bradley Smith (KTM).
As for the combined times, the riders who have gained access to Q2 at the moment are, in order: Viñales, Marquez, Redding, Dovizioso, Folger, Pedrosa, Zarco, Rossi, Bautista and Lorenzo.