Pol Espargaro led Honda team-mate Marc Marquez in a sodden second practice session for the Portuguese Grand Prix as the rain continued to fall in Portimao.
The Spaniard managed to fire in the fastest time of the session – a 1:50.707s – to head to the top of the timesheets in the early minutes, though any further improvements from the field were few and far between as rain continued to saturate the Algarve International Circuit.
Espagraro’s effort managed to lift him up to second in the combined times after he managed only 17th in FP1, his tour just 0.051s adrift of Marquez’s opening test gambit – leaving the factory Honda outfit first and second overall heading into Saturday.
Marquez meanwhile followed his fellow Honda rider home to go second fastest in FP2, though his time was 0.606s slower than Espargaro’s.
Andrea Dovizioso was third quickest on his RNF Racing Yamaha, though due to the conditions being worse than in FP1 his 1:51.756s was not enough to lift him into Q2 contention, the Italian clear of Francesco Bagnaia, who suffered a nasty crash at Turn 3 just a couple minutes after the green flag was waved on the test.
Jorge Martin completed the top five on his Pramac Ducati ahead of Alex Marquez’s LCR Honda and Franco Morbidelli’s factory Yamaha M1.
Maverick Vinales again looked to possess decent speed in the slippery conditions as he slotted his Aprilia into eighth ahead of the second LCR RC213-V of Takaaki Nakagami, while KTM’s Miguel Oliveira rounded out the top ten in FP2.
Joan Mir and Johann Zarco failed to make the top ten in this session –the duo 11th and 12th respectively – though their efforts from FP1 see them still in contention for a direct-to-Q2 passage.
Marco Bezzecchi escaped a high-speed crash at Turn 9 mid-way through the session meanwhile, the VR46 rider’s Desmosedici sliding out from underneath him as he navigated the fast left-hander, thus causing him to high-side in a similar manner to Nakagami’s FP1 incident.
Bezzecchi also managed to get away unharmed en-route to the 16th best time in FP2, his FP1 time still keeping him in an automatic pole shootout graduation spot overnight.
Reigning series champion Fabio Quartararo continued to struggle in the wet meanwhile, the Frenchman forced to make do with 13th in the day’s second outing just ahead of current points leader Enea Bastianini.
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