Britain’s Scott Redding secured second in this afternoon’s wet free practice at the Red Bull Ring, finishing half a second behind the reigning champion with Danilo Petrucci in third place.
Redding led the way until 15 minutes from the end when Marquez exited pitlane and jumped to second place with his second flying lap before passing the Aprilia man for the lead with a 1’33.995 on lap six to lead.
Redding’s best of 1’34.538 was good enough for second despite a charge by Petrucci but the Pramac Ducati man was almost a second off the lead with a 1’34.981.
Jorge Lorenzo took his works Ducati GP18 to fourth place but is almost 1.5s in arrears while this morning’s fastest man Andrea Dovizioso is one place but only 0.26s further back in fifth.
Bradley Smith put in a storming seventh lap to bag sixth place, one ahead of Alex Rins who was the first rider to venture out in the session that was delayed for 20 minutes as the rain was absolutely biblical.
Jack Miller edged close friend Cal Crutchlow out of eighth place late on while Valentino Rossi, who now desperately needs a dry third session to get into Q2, took tenth place. It was not a good session for team-mate Maverick Vinales who ended in 20th place and 4.179s off the pace.
Andrea Iannone was half a second in front of Xavier Simeon - no, really - for 11th with Franco Morbidelli, Tito Rabat and Johann Zarco completing the top 15. Dani Pedrosa was last out of the garage and last on the timesheet as the lightweight Spaniard struggled to get any heat into his Michelin wets.