Jorge Lorenzo struck back in his head-to-head duel with Marc Marquez by edging out his compatriot in second practice at Silverstone. The championship leader was unable to match the pace of Marquez in this morning’s first session but as times tumbled this afternoon, the pendulum swung back towards Yamaha.
Lorenzo signalled his intentions immediately at the start of the second session, knocking half a second off Marquez’s benchmark time from this morning. The reigning champion soon bettered his own FP1 time but in a role reversal from the earlier session, Jorge held the slightest of advantages.
Dani Pedrosa held third spot initially but the Spanish trio was broken up six minutes from time by a fired-up Bradley Smith. The home favourite, who signed a new one-year contract with Tech 3 in the build-up to the Grand Prix, clocked a 2:02.531 to close to within two tenths of Lorenzo. With the chequered flag flying, Smith even threatened the quickest time of all but the dream scenario of a British rider topping the opening day was scuppered by a poor final sector.
Pedrosa held on to fourth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso who utilised the softer tyre to grab fifth on his Ducati. Teammate Andrea Iannone did likewise and briefly held fourth but a crash at Stowe brought his run to a premature end, causing him to slip to eighth behind the Espargaro brothers, Aleix edging out Pol.
Scott Redding made a magnificent start to the afternoon and although he didn’t improve later on, he was rewarded with ninth, while Valentino Rossi could only manage tenth and faces a nervous morning tomorrow before he is assured of a Q2 place. Cal Crutchlow also has a challenge on his hands in FP3 after finishing day one in a lowly fifteenth.