Before setting the fastest lap on combined times, the MotoGP champion had to recover from several scary moments on what was an action packed day for the Frenchman.

After crashing at turn 13 in FP1 and enduring a further two near-misses at turns eight and five, Quartararo’s up-and-down day continued as he ran onto the grass on the exit of the final corner. 

With track conditions much improved compared to FP1, it took Francesco Bagnaia less than six minutes to go quickest on combined times. Quartararo then topped Bagnaia’s time by over two tenths as he set the first sub 1m 38s lap of the day. 

Despite Quartararo and Bagnaia setting a storming pace at the front, the top 17 were separated by just eight tenths with ten minutes gone. 

Confusion at Repsol Honda…

Pol Espargaro cut a frustrated figure after Marc Marquez slowed on the exit of turn 12. 

Espargaro was seen shaking his head at the eight-time world champion who appeared to hinder Espargaro’s lap. Then, Marquez nearly made contact with Remy Gardner, who was also affected by both Repsol Honda riders slowing. 

While all this was happening Marquez remained on the bubble (P10) of an automatic Q2 spot. 

With the two Suzuki riders yet to improve following their 1-2 in FP1, Jorge Martin managed to split his fellow Spaniards by going fourth aboard his Desmosedici GP22 machine. 

However, that soon changed as Mir went quickest despite being slower than his personal best in sector one. Mir was able to extract time as the lap went on as he took over by 0.089s from Quartararo. 

Highlighting just how close MotoGP is in 2022, Aleix Espargaro then replaced Mir at the top by just 0.003s. 

Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez crashes twice on the same lap

Then came a truly bizarre moment as Marc Marquez suffered his first crash of the day at turn six. No, that is not the bizarre moment; what followed was. 

Marquez re-joined the action, but after slowly navigating turns seven and eight, Marquez tipped into turn nine on the outside of Miguel Oliveira, before losing the front again. 

It appeared as though Marquez found one of the slow-drying wet patches on his second fall. 

One of the first riders to fit a soft rear tyre, Takaaki Nakagami went to the top of the leaderboard with a time of 1:37.778s. Nakagami could have gone quicker after being up by three tenths, however, Espargaro’s stunning final sector resulted in the LCR Honda man losing nearly all that advantage.

Nakagami’s third lap on the soft rear saw him find another two tenths as he went underneath the official race lap record. But the Japanese rider was soon outshone by Bagnaia who went three tenths clear. 

Martin managed to get within a tenth of the Italian, but Bagnaia improved again as he began to look more and more like the Bagnaia we saw in 2021. 

The factory Ducati rider was unable to hold onto top spot though, as Quartararo set a blistering time of 1:37.071s - 0.212s clear, before Bastianini snuck into second as the checkered flag came out.