Red shone bright on the Misano Friday. Indeed, because after setting the bar in the morning, Andrea Dovizioso repeated the performance in FP2, beating out the rest once again with a time of 1’32”198. The Borgo Panigale standard-bearer improved his own performance from the morning by a half a second, looking down on the rest from the top of the heap.
On his pipes was Jorge Lorenzo, just 160 thousandths behind his teammate. If the GP18 machines proved to be uncatchable in the August tests, they were playing the same tune again today. However, keep an eye on the gaps because they are particularly tight, so much that there are no less than fourteen riders within one second of one another.
Chasing down the Ducatis was Cal Crutchlow astride his Honda (+0.187), just 27 thousandths ahead of Maverick Viñales and his Yamaha. Honda and Yamaha are therefore neck in neck, just like Marc Márquez (+0.339). In the morning, the six-time world champion had not used the new tyre, saving it for the afternoon. During FP2, he began to emerge, taking the fifth best time ahead of Danilo Petrucci (+0.524). The Italian therefore finished among the best, whereas it seemed odd not to see Jack Miller in the top ten, way back in 14th behind Bautista.
In an FP2 session where a few drops of rain fell on the track, Valentino Rossi was still able to kick in the spurs and take a provisional spot in Q2. On his last available attempt, the Doctor took home the eighth best time behind the Suzuki ridden by Rins, whereas a surprising Franco Morbidelli was ninth (+0.782). The Roman from Tavullio is also in the top ten for the combined standings on Friday and the same is true for Andrea Iannone, taking advantage of his time from the morning session of 1’32”923. In the final moments of the session, the Suzuki rider tried to improve his time, but unfortunately ended up in the gravel, ending his session early.
Not making it into the top ten by only five thousandths was Zarco, followed by Pedrosa and Pirro. Redding and Aleix Espargaró were in 17th and 18th place with their Aprilias. Noteworthy is the progress made by Ponsson, closing the gap behind the leader to below six seconds.