Rossi was quick to leave pit lane and commence his 15-minute shoot-out. His first hot lap earned him provisional fifth place after all riders had completed their first attempt. His next lap was cancelled due to exceeding track limits and meanwhile he moved down the order to 11th place.
With six minutes remaining, the Doctor pulled into the pits for a fresh rear tyre. He was quickly back on his way. In theory he had enough time for two more flying laps, but with various riders cruising and looking for a tow, the Italian opted to wait until the last moment to make a dash for pole. He was now lying in P12 and the pressure was on, but that’s when Rossi shines. He produced a 1’58.596s lap to qualify in second place, 0.428s from first.
Viñales waited for most of the riders to exit their pit garages before he swung his leg over his YZR-M1, ready to push to the max, going all out for just one hot lap. He slotted into third position after this first try and immediately returned to the box.
With four and a half minutes on the clock, the Spaniard was back on his way. He was holding fifth place for the moment but was intent on being on the front row of the grid. He set three red sectors on his penultimate bid, but a twitch in the last sector cost him precious time, although he did move back up to fourth with this 1’58.762s lap. Unable to improve with his last effort, Viñales ended the session in sixth place, 0.594s from pole.