FP2 ahead of the Doha MotoGP Grand Prix was dominated by Ducati, as Jack Miller concluded the session fastest from team-mate Francesco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco.
Just like last week, free practice two was as vital a session as there is before qualifying, with automatic progression to Q2 extremely likely.
Ducati as a whole had a quiet morning session in Qatar with only Jorge Martin inside the top ten. But as the hot and humid sun was replaced by the night’s bright lights, Ducati impressed once again to finish with four of the five fastest times.
It was a slow burner for the most part with Bagnaia fastest after the initial race runs. The Italian remained there until the action started to ramp up with 15 minutes left.
Bagnaia was first replaced at the top of the leaderboard by the man who replaced him at Pramac Ducati Martin, before a flurry of changes took place.
Alex Rins went quicker moments later, before Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro exchanged fastest times.
But after a near highside on his penultimate run, Miller regrouped to take top spot by +0.313s in the final five minutes.
Behind the Ducati trio was Quartararo, with Martin in fifth. Sixth was Aprilia’s Espargaro who had topped the earlier FP1 session.
Seventh was Franco Morbidelli who managed to recover from his mechanical issues during free practice one, while Rins was eighth.
Closing out the top ten were Qatar race one winner Maverick Vinales in ninth and top Honda rider Stefan Bradl in tenth.
Morbidelli has bagged himself a provisional Q2 place in seventh ahead of Suzuki’s Rins, Vinales and Stefan Bradl – currently the only Honda rider in Q2. His LCR counterparts Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez both suffered late crashes and were left out of Q2 in 15th and 16th behind SRT’s Valentino Rossi and Mir on the Suzuki.
Mir failed to make it directly into Q2 last weekend and is once again set to face the first part of qualifying with lap time improvements unlikely in the hotter conditions of FP3 on Saturday afternoon.
Pol Espargaro was only 17th on his factory Honda ahead of KTM’s Brad Binder, the South African just under three tenths off team-mate Miguel Oliveira in 11th as the highest ranked KTM rider on Friday.