Marc Marquez finished just his second official practice session as a MotoGP rider as the fastest man after outpacing the Yamahas in FP2 at Losail. The reigning Moto2 champion found eight tenths of a second from his Thursday best in a session where most riders didn’t improve altogether to lead Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi by a quarter of a second.
It was initially feared that the session would be delayed due to rain but the drizzle stopped just in time for FP2 to get underway as scheduled. Lorenzo dashed straight out onto the circuit and set the early pace in the mid-1:57s, the best part of a second slower than Thursday, but Rossi chipped away at the deficit when he took to the track, going fastest on a 1:57.145.
With so much dust off-line, the riders found improvements hard to come by but Lorenzo was the first to break into the 1:56s with nine minutes to go with his teammate doing likewise shortly afterwards. With the exception of Stefan Bradl, the Hondas had gone under the radar but Marquez changed that four minutes from time with the quickest lap of the weekend so far, 1:56.477.
Lorenzo’s best effort was 0.268s slower with Valentino Rossi once again matching his teammate in third. Cal Crutchlow backed up his Thursday performance with the fourth quickest time on Friday evening with Stefan Bradl the next of the Hondas in fifth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso’s factory Ducati.
Dani Pedrosa’s difficult weekend continued with another excursion into the gravel at turn one with his best time of 1:57.877 only good enough for seventh, splitting the Ducatis of Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden. Ben Spies was one of the big movers overnight to take ninth ahead of Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith and Andrea Iannone with Aleix Espargaro maintaining his position as top CRT rider in thirteenth.