Viñales showed his hand right from the start of his pole challenge. He positioned his Yamaha firmly at the front on his first flying lap with a 1‘30.332s but was later pushed back to second as rivals completed their second hot lap.
Meanwhile the Spaniard returned to the pits with nine and a half minutes left. Not wanting to waste any time he leapt from his first to his second bike and was soon back out on track. He was pushing to the limit on his second run, setting a 1‘30.190s, but remained in third place. He had another go and improved his time once more to a 1‘30.096s, but it still wasn‘t enough.
With three minutes left, the number-12 rider made a second quick stop. Back on bike one, he had just enough time for one final try. He fully committed to putting his head down, dug deep, and dropped under the 1‘30s-mark, posting a 1‘29.825s which earned him second place on the grid, 0.106s from pole.
Rossi made a good start to the 15-minute Q2 session. He set a 1‘31.080s on his opening lap, putting him in fifth place initially, before he was pushed back to ninth. He set a personal best sector on his next attempt, but the bike washed out from under him in Turn 5.
Having to leave his preferred M1 behind, the Doctor hurried back to the pit box to return to the track on his second machine. With a little less than four minutes on the clock, the Italian was back on route. Getting into the groove again, he bettered his time to a 1‘31.019s but remained in tenth place and resumed the setting of personal best sectors. He clocked a 1‘30.741s on his penultimate lap, moving him up to ninth. Unable to further improve his time on his last effort, he kept his spot on the third row, 1.022 from first.