Franco Morbidelli led a Petronas SRT 1-2 in FP2 for the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix, the Italian heading team-mate Fabio Quartararo by a slender 0.027.
Morbidelli spent most of the session hovering in and around the top 10, struggling for grip on the significantly hotter track surface relative to FP1 as he ran on at Turn 1 and explored the gravel trap before heading back to the pits.
He decided to re-emerge for a late run for a quick lap time in the closing minutes, his 1:38.125 deposing long-time session leader Quartararo by just 0.027 on his penultimate flyer.
Quartararo elected against heading out for a final push lap, his earlier 1:38.152 enough to keep him second ahead of an excellent Brad Binder, who managed the third-quickest effort for KTM.
The South African racer pipped FP1 leader Marc Marquez with his own final gambit as the final seconds ticked down on the final MotoGP session of the day; Marquez, like Quartararo, decided to remain in the garage rather than go for a final effort.
Marquez was lucky to escape a crash at Turn 2 at the mid-point of the session, the Honda man tucking the front of his RC213-V and sliding across the circuit.
He was swiftly able to get his machine restarted and continue though, managing to remain in the top five just ahead of the second factory KTM of Pol Espargaro, who capped a very encouraging Friday for the Austrian manufacturer-both RC16’s within three-tenths of Morbidelli’s leading benchmark.
Sixth went the way of LCR’s Cal Crutchlow who continued to show solid speed, while Maverick Vinales could only muster up the seventh-quickest tour after managing the second-quickest time this morning.
Johann Zarco continued to make progress with his Avintia-run Ducati GP19 with the eighth fastest effort, heading the newer GP20 spec Desmosedici’s of Andrea Dovizioso and Francesco Bagnaia that completed the top 10 runners in FP2.
Suzuki were fairly invisible during the afternoon session, with Alex Rins ending up as its highest representative in 14th ahead of Joan Mir on the second GSX-RR down in 16th, Rins marginally heading Aprilias fastest man Aleix Espargaro in 15th.
Valentino Rossi continued to struggle way down in 20th on his factory Yamaha M1, pipping the second factory Honda of Alex Marquez who escaped a high-speed spill earlier in the session.
Marquez ran wide on entry to the fast Turn 8 left-hander, causing him to ultimately tuck the front of his RC213-V and slide off into the gravel trap.
He re-joined the action later on, but wound up just 21st overall ahead of only Bradley Smiths Aprilia.