Maverick Viñales set the fastest time in the second Free Practice session at Aragon to lead an all-Yamaha charge at the end of the first day of action.
Viñales snatched the top spot with just five minutes to go, having played second-fiddle to SRT riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, who ended Friday running in P2 and P3 respectively.
The number 12 factory man set a lap time of 1:47.771, a full four-tenths faster than that of current championship leader, Quartararo.
He also proved to be the fastest rider in Free Practice 1, leading the way as the only factory Yamaha pilot following Valentino Rossi’s positive Covid-19 test result.
The early stages of the session saw a three-way battle between Viñales, Morbidelli and Quartararo, with Joan Mir slotting his Suzuki high up the order as he momentarily took the fastest time of the day.
However, he couldn’t hold on to it, and as a result, finished in 4th for the Team Ecstar Suzuki outfit.
LCR Honda pilot Taka Nakagami was also impressive, setting a time worthy of a P2 spot for a brief moment before faster riders meant that he dropped to 9th, four places down on his team-mate Cal Crutchlow.
Avintia Racing’s Johann Zarco ended up the fastest of the Ducatis despite crashing in both FP1 and again at the second corner in the dying minutes of FP2.
The Frenchman finished in 11th place.
It was a tough outing for both the factory KTM of Brad Binder, whose session ended with a low-side crash after he grabbed a handful too much front brake tipping into Turn 14.
As a result, he was unable to continue and ended up in 21st place, while his team-mate Pol Espargaro managed to bag seventh.
Factory Honda rider Alex Marquez finished in 8th aboard his RC-213V, as his team-mate test rider Stefan Bradl suffered a tumble at turn 12 when he folded the front of his bike, although was able to continue on.
The German number 6 rider finished his session in 20th place.