Maverick Vinales topped a crash-filled Friday afternoon MotoGP practice for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans as Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi was left facing a possible Q1 appearance again.
Championship leader Marc Marquez led most of the session but his 1m32.2s efforts at the time were slower than Fabio Quartararo's morning benchmark, before times tumbled significantly at the end of the day.
Vinales first took the lead with a 1m31.983s with three minutes remaining before being quickly demoted by Jorge Lorenzo.
But Vinales was able to improve two more times with a 1m31.549s and then a 1m31.428s to head an ultra-close classification, in which 15 riders slotted in within one second of the fastest time.
Marquez took second but was nearly two tenths slower than Vinales, with local hero Quartararo ending up third.
The Frenchman beat Lorenzo by three thousandths of a second, while Andrea Dovizioso took fifth - only 0.02s behind.
Dovizioso was the top Ducati in what was an otherwise difficult Friday afternoon for the firm, with Danilo Petrucci crashing while exiting the Chemin aux Boeufs esses at the very beginning of the session then Pramac Jack Miller had crashes at both the Dunlop chicane and the final corner.
Petrucci recovered to sixth followed by KTM's Pol Espargaro, who also had two falls, and Aleix Espargaro - the Aprilia man another rider to crash in the end.
LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami took ninth and Franco Morbidelli completed the top 10, narrowly edging Cal Crutchlow out.
Crutchlow had challenged for the top positions before crashing at the Garage Vert double right-hander.
Rossi had to settle for 13th as he curiously started the late-session flying laps on a medium rear tyre, and a late change to soft left him with no time to move into the combined classification top 10.
Rain is forecast for Saturday, and should it arrive early enough for morning practice, Rossi could be forced to fight his way through Q1 along with several other usual frontrunners.
Suzuki duo Joan Mir, whose session also ended with a crash, and Alex Rins were only 14th and 15th respectively on Friday afternoon, ahead of Miller.
But Miller still ended the day in the overall top 10, by just 0.001s ahead of Morbidelli, courtesy of his morning time.
Practice two times
|3||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha||1m31.713s||0.285s||23|
|9||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||1m32.203s||0.775s||20|
|10||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha||1m32.239s||0.811s||22|
|11||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||1m32.270s||0.842s||18|
|12||Francesco Bagnaia||Pramac Ducati||1m32.285s||0.857s||18|
|16||Jack Miller||Pramac Ducati||1m32.573s||1.145s||15|
|18||Karel Abraham||Avintia Ducati||1m32.999s||1.571s||18|
|20||Miguel Oliveira||Tech3 KTM||1m33.401s||1.973s||20|
|21||Tito Rabat||Avintia Ducati||1m33.431s||2.003s||23|
|22||Hafizh Syahrin||Tech3 KTM||1m33.903s||2.475s||19|