Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo has set a new Sepang fastest lap in second free practice, going half a second under Dani Pedrosa’s 2015 pole record to finish the day ahead of team-mate Franco Morbidelli with Andrea Dovizioso in third.
Quartararo had set a new record this morning but dropped the hammer on a medium/soft Michelin combination with a few minutes left in the afternoon period, putting in a 1’58.576 which is only three-tenths slower than Danilo Petrucci’s best in winter testing earlier this year.
In warmer conditions, Morbidelli couldn’t find any extra pace so his 1’59.110 from this morning stands while works Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso hopped up to third on the combined sheets with a 1’59.206 on soft tyres.
Maverick Vinales couldn’t improve on his morning session time but remain in fourth place while Monster Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi hopped up to fifth, making it four Yamahas in the top five overall.
Reigning champion Marc Marquez didn’t take part in the time attack, preferring to stay on a soft rear that had already done 15 laps on his final run. He still managed a 2’00.400 on his last lap but relied on his time from this morning to keep him in the top ten.
Alex Rins took his version of the Ecstar Suzuki to seventh place, putting in a 1’59.849 to finish a little less than a second off the pace while Jack Miller, on the podium last weekend, was 0.047s behind.
Aleix Espargaro bagged ninth place overall on the Aprilia, setting a 1’59.707 with Cal Crutchlow in the last of the automatic qualifying two spots should the forecast rain turn up in free practice three.
Rookies Pecco Bagnaia and Joan Mir finished ahead of Petrucci - who topped the winter test times here this year - with Johann Zarco claiming 14th overall, one ahead of Karel Abraham.
It has not been a good day for the KTM runners with Pol Espargaro their best in 16th and two seconds off the pace. He still finished in front of Jorge Lorenzo, however, in P17.
Miguel Olivera called it a day after FP1 as his hand not in good enough shape to ride.