After Yamaha dominated FP1 at the GoPro British Grand Prix, 2017 winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) came out firing on all cylinders in FP2 to go fastest overall on Friday – but home hero Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was just 0.005s off the Italian’s 2:01.358 to take second. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), meanwhile, stayed up at the sharp end for a strong opening day overall, with the 2016 winner 0.061 off the top to end the day in third overall.
After a sunny morning, the threat of rain was in the air but it held off as the premier class got an all-important dry Friday under their belts on a newly resurfaced Silverstone. Behind that close trio at the top it was Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who took fourth – joined in the top five by Austria sparring partner Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) – despite some ups and downs for the two. Marquez suffered a crash in FP1 – a low drama lowside – and Lorenzo left it late to blast back into the top ten and provisional Q2 entry should the weather change.
After finishing FP1 in fifth, meanwhile, Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) continued to rediscover his early season speed to end Friday sixth fastest overall, less than half a second behind fellow Ducati man Dovizioso. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) managed to grab a top ten position in seventh at the end of FP2, the Frenchman jumping up two positions from his P9 in the morning, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) eighth quickest overall after finishing FP1 in second – a turnaround so far for the Iwata marque after a tough Red Bull Ring.
Fellow Italian Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) consolidated a top ten in FP2 to finish ninth quickest, with Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) sitting in the final provisional automatic Q2 spot in tenth, improving from P11 in FP1.
So far Silverstone looks set to be a classic, with Ducati, Yamaha and Crutchlow all aiming to take the fight to Marquez this weekend. The premier class have another chance to book their place in Q2 on Saturday morning, with big names such as Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) all aiming to get into the top ten before qualifying kicks off at 14:10 local time (GMT +1).