Viñales showed just how keen he was on getting the show on the road at the start of Q2, waiting at the end of pit lane for the light to go green before heading out at the very first opportunity. With clear track in front of him, he immediately went top on his benchmark lap and confirmed his form on the next, but was later pushed back to second.
He quickly headed to the box with about nine minutes remaining and came back out with a soft rear tyre. He set personal best first sectors early on but dropped off in the latter stages of his third and fourth flying lap. Refusing to give in, the Spaniard made it work on his fifth try, bettering his time to a 1’23.523s but not his placement. Unable to improve on his last two laps, he ended the session in fourth place, 0.496s from pole.
Rossi was on the same strategy as his team-mate, heading out on a medium-medium tyre spec for his first run. His initial attempt put him in fourth place, but he was moved to seventh as competitors completed their second hot lap. The Yamaha man responded with a 1‘23.899s, which briefly put him in second place. However, as the pace quickened, he found himself in seventh again when he returned to pit lane with a little more than seven minutes on the clock.
Less than two minutes later the Italian was back on his way. He put his head down and dropped a 1‘23.817s lap that put him in provisional sixth position, but the final minutes of the session proved to be decisive. Unable to better his time on his last two laps on the soft rear tyre around the abrasive Spielberg track, the Doctor finished Q2 in 10th place, 0.790s from first.