Having finished a distant eighth in first practice and trailed pacesetter Toprak Razgatlioglu by the best part of a second, championship leader Bautista set an impressive lap of 1m34.008s in the afternoon session to end the day quickest of all on the Ducati Panigale V4 R.
The Spaniard’s time, set in the final 15 minutes of the 45-minute session, pushed factory Yamaha rider Razgatlioglu to second place in the final order.
Razgatlioglu found nearly half a second between the two sessions, but his best lap of 1m34.115s left him a tenth down on Bautista’s chart-topping effort.
Six-time WSBK champion Jonathan Rea ended up third on the works Kawasaki, albeit just 0.019s slower than Razgatlioglu with a time of 1m34.134s.
The best-of-the-rest tag went to Ducati’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who was rapid across both sessions on his home turf and ended up exactly five hundredths of a second adrift of Rea’s best lap in fourth.
Rinaldi, who is only sixth in the championship after a lacklustre start to the season, won two of the three races at Misano last year and was only denied a complete sweep in the final full-distance contest by Razgatlioglu.
Fifth place in Friday practice went to Philipp Oettl on the GoEleven Ducati, while GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff made it two independent riders in the top six ahead of Alex Lowes on the second of the works Kawasakis.
Iker Lecuona was the top representative for Honda in eighth, 0.785s down on Bautista, while Scott Redding put his BMW ninth in the day’s order.
The top 10 was completed by Xaxi Vierge on the Honda, while Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) were the last two riders to set a time in the 1m34s bracket.
Ilya Mikhalchik, who has replaced the injured Michael van der Mark at BMW this weekend, ended up 22nd and 23rd in the two practice sessions.