Further back, Mir had now managed to get to the front of the battle for the lower ends of the top 10 to have some clean air in front of hm – the gap to Quartararo was 3.5 seconds on Lap 7. A few more laps went by and the gap between the leading two wasn’t going above 0.6 seconds, with Viñales slightly quicker than Bagnaia. But then the Pramac Racing started to up the ante, Bagnaia’s lead was up to the magic one-second mark on Lap 11. A couple of laps later and the lead was up to 1.4 seconds, with Quartararo setting his fastest lap of the race on Lap 11 – with Mir going even quicker behind. Bagnaia had got the gap up to over a second but Viñales wasn’t letting the sophomore pull away, the lead was tinkering between 1.1 and 1.4 seconds as Quartararo reeled in Espargaro. Mir, with eight laps to go, was now under two seconds away from the podium fight.