Alvaro Bautista was the leading factory rider on the second day of the Qatar MotoGP at the Losail circuit.

The Gresini Honda star posted a quickest time of 1m 55.240s as he finished 0.467s behind frontrunner Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone on the Pramac Ducati.

Bautista was also fastest on the medium compound tyre as he reflected positively on the FP2 and FP3 sessions on Friday.

"I'm happy because at the moment I continue to be the fastest rider with the medium compound tyres, just behind the [Open] motorcycles that can use the soft option," said the Spaniard.

"In addition, my feeling with the bike has improved slightly compared to the recent tests. We need to further improve the behaviour of the bike with worn tyres, because after only three or four laps the rear tyre performance drops a lot.

"Tomorrow we still have one more free practice session to try to improve the situation, then we will give the maximum in qualifying to try to get a good starting position, even though it will be hard to beat the bike that can use the extra soft rear tyre, which offers an advantage of about four tenths of a second."

Series rookie Scott Redding was only six tenths of a second behind the leading Open Honda RCV1000R of Nicky Hayden as the young British rider ended FP3 in 17th place, lapping in 1m 59.997s.

Redding missed most of the opening session on Thursday due to a technical issue.

American star Hayden was 13th fastest on the Drive M7 Aspar machine.