Daniil Kvyat narrowly pipped Nico Rosberg to the P1 on Friday afternoon at a wet Suzuka as he edged ahead moments before more rain fell.
Friday's second practice session for the Japanese GP got off to a slightly dryer start with the rain having abated. The track, though, was still wet.
Putting their Singapore woes behind them, Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were quick to grab the 1-2 on the intermediate tyres at the start of FP2.
Rosberg's 1:48.300 put him half a second up on Hamilton while Daniel Ricciardo was third on the timesheet.
As the track continued to dry out – which meant there was less spray and not an actual dry line – Kvyat ruined the Mercedes fight-back as he grabbed P1 with a 1:48.277.
Kvyat's time was 0.023s faster than Rosberg's and with the rain coming down shortly after he crossed the line, the Russian racer held onto the P1 through to the chequered flag.
Rosberg and Hamilton were next in line ahead of Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
The Red Bull racer and both Ferrari drivers spent time in the AstroTurf as they slid off the wet Suzuka circuit on Friday. However, they were by no means alone in doing that with Max Verstappen and Pastor Maldonado also having notable offs.
Fernando Alonso was a late arrival to the party. Honda found an anomaly in his engine data in FP1 and as such Japanese manufacturer and McLaren decided to change it.
He only ventured out in the final 30 minutes when the track conditions were at their worst. Alonso covered 10 laps with a best time of 1.55.239.
The only driver not to set a time in FP2 was Valtteri Bottas. He did not put in a single lap having opted to save his tyres incase there is more rain later in the weekend.
1 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:48.277 6 laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:48.300 0.023 8 laps
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:48.853 0.576 8 laps
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:49.097 0.820 10 laps
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:50.268 1.991 19 laps
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:50.319 2.042 17 laps
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:50.418 2.141 6 laps
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:50.542 2.265 5 laps
9 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:50.968 2.691 10 laps
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:51.557 3.280 7 laps
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:51.674 3.397 11 laps
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:51.861 3.584 9 laps
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:51.934 3.657 12 laps
14 Sergio Perez Force India 1:52.070 3.793 8 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:52.534 4.257 6 laps
16 Felipe Massa Williams 1:52.765 4.488 6 laps
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:55.239 6.962 10 laps
18 Will Stevens Manor 1:58.059 9.782 6 laps
19 Alexander Rossi Manor 1:59.419 11.142 7 laps
20 Valtteri Bottas Williams No time 0 laps