French MotoGP: Miller tops FP2 in tricky conditions

Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller ended second practice for the MotoGP French Grand Prix fastest as the tricky conditions led to a number of crashes late on

French MotoGP: Miller tops FP2 in tricky conditions

Spots of rain just before the session was given the green light meant only a handful of riders, including Joan Mir on the Suzuki, Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Miller, headed out on circuit.

Rossi had opted straight away for a slick medium rear tyre, but quickly aborted the run after his best flying lap was some 3.7 seconds slower than Mir's wet-shod effort of 1m43.515s.

Johann Zarco soon took over top spot with a 1m41.811s, while several more who'd fitted slick tyres early on bailed out to switch to wets.

However, Miller went in the opposite direction and began lighting up the timing screen once he'd gotten his soft slicks up to temperature.

With 15 minutes of the session gone, Miller deposed Zarco - who was now sitting on a 1m40.943s - with a 1m39.29s, which he improved to a 1m36.432s two laps later.

Miller's times forced more into giving the slicks a try, with LCR's Takaaki Nakagami setting the pace at 1m36.320s with 15 minutes remaining.

A flurry of fastest laps meant Alex Rins on the Suzuki and Nakagami traded top spot, with the Honda rider seizing control with just under 10 minutes of the session remaining with a 1m35.612s.

Nakagami's charge came to an end just as the chequered flag came out when he slid off his RC213V at the Blue Esses section at Turn 11.

The tricky conditions caught out several riders in the closing stages, with the Aprilia's of Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith, Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and KTM's Brad Binder all suffering crashes.

Miller's deleted effort of 1m34.133s put him 0.367s clear of the field, but ended FP2 top regardless thanks to a prior 1m34.356 which kept him ahead of Yamaha's Maverick Vinales and Nakagami.

Ducati's Danilo Petrucci was classified fourth, with Cal Crutchlow was fifth on his LCR Honda having been top briefly in the closing stages, with works Honda rider Alex Marquez, Petronas SRT's Franco Morbidelli and the KTM of Pol Espargaro behind him.

Joan Mir and Johann Zarco completed the top 10, after Zarco was dropped from fourth.

Should any rain arrive for Saturday's FP3 session, Suzuki rider Rins, Rossi and championship leader Fabio Quartararo on the SRT Yamaha may have to battle through Q1 having missed the top 10 in FP2.

Dovizioso's late crash at the Dunlop chicane meant he could only muster 19th on the timesheets.

French MotoGP - FP2 results

Pos Rider Team Gap
1 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 1m34.356s
2 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 0.144s
3 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 0.501s
4 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 0.698s
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 0.785s
6 Alex Marquez Honda 0.981s
7 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 1.013s
8 Pol Espargaro KTM 1.018s
9 Joan Mir Suzuki 1.029s
10 Johann Zarco Avintia Ducati 1.052s
11 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 1.133s
12 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1.411s
13 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 1.481s
14 Alex Rins Suzuki 1.482s
15 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 1.656s
16 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM 1.834s
17 Stefan Bradl Honda 2.122s
18 Bradley Smith Aprilia 2.626s
19 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 4.370s
20 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 5.005s
21 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 5.809s
22 Brad Binder KTM 6.069s
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