Miller tops damp FP2 in Malaysia, Marquez absent
Jack Miller was quickest in second practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix held on a drying track, while FP1 pacesetter Marc Marquez was forced to miss the session due to illness. It was announced at the start of the session that Repsol Honda rider Marquez had contracted gastroenteritis and would therefore sit out FP2, despite setting the fastest time earlier in the day.
With second practice taking place on a wet but drying track, Marquez's benchmark of 2m01.210s stood as the fastest time of the day, with Miller only managing a 2m08.872s. The Australian was among a handful of riders to go out on track in the closing minutes on slick tyres, beating fellow satellite Honda man Cal Crutchlow - the first to brave dry tyres - by 0.399s.
It was only in the final few minutes that the track came to those on slicks, as up to that point the session had been dominated by Avintia Ducati rider Loris Baz on intermediates. However, the Frenchman would only end up fifth quickest, demoted by both teammate Hector Barbera and the Tech 3 Yamaha of Bradley Smith after the chequered flag had fallen.
Sixth quickest was the Pramac Ducati of Scott Redding, ahead of the leading factory machine of Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl's Aprilia. Miller's Marc VDS teammate Tito Rabat and the sole remaining Repsol Honda of Hiroshi Aoyama completed the top 10. The factory Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were 13th and 16th fastest, while the leading Suzuki of Maverick Vinales was way down in 17th.
As well as Marquez, the second factory Ducati of Andrea Iannone didn't set a time, despite being fourth fastest in first practice - his first outing on a MotoGP bike since Aragon.