Far from free practice. Friday's second session appeared to, all intents and purposes, to be qualifying, with riders giving it their all and lighting up the timesheets in the final minutes. There were high expectations ahead of FP2, also because the conditions are more in line with how they might be during the race, and consequently there was no shortage of surprises, certainties and disappointments.
Of them all, it was Marc Marquez and the Honda that stood out. In the first part of the session, the Spaniard worked on his pace, exploiting the medium tyre, before moving over to the soft, thanks to which he set a 1’53”380. #93 put on a spectacular performance, closing almost half a second ahead of his closest rival, or rather Maverick Vinales (+0.474). #12 proved to be the quickest M1 on track, in that Valentino Rossi had a disappointing session.
After the morning session, there were high hopes in the #46 camp, but the Doctor had to settle for 17th, more than a second and a half from the front (+1.757), without even improving on his best time set in FP1. The Tavullia rider also tested some new aerodynamic solutions, but the path proved to be the wrong one. At this point, he hopes to fight back in FP3.
Back to the top half of the timesheets and Jack Miller stood out on the red bike (+0.528), the fastest Ducati on track at Losail ahead of Danilo Petrucci (+0.673), while Andrea Dovizioso (+0.876) closed in sixth behind Fabio Quartararo. Dovi used the second session to focus on race pace, lowering his time in the final stages and proving particularly competitive through the final sector.
Good news in the Suzuki camp, with Rins and Mir eighth and tenth respectively, separated by the Aprilia of Aleix Espargarò. Jorge Lorenzo surprisingly closed outside of the top ten, as did Rossi, while further down the standings, Bagnaia closed in 14th preceded by Crutchlow, while Zarco lies 18th on the KTM followed by the Aprilia of Iannone.