Kobayashi set a blistering time of 1m46.851s in the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID just 25 minutes into the session, an improvement of more than three seconds over his chart-topping lap in FP1.
Brendon Hartley also made a significant jump in the #8 Toyota compared to this afternoon, but the gap between the marque’s two LMH cars widened to 0.461s as Kobayashi remained the only driver to break the 1m47s barrier when the chequered flag was waved after 90 minutes of running.
Cadillac emerged as Toyota’s closest rival in second practice thanks to Alex Lynn’s early effort of 1m47.690s, although it was still nearly nine tenths off the pace in a session where the entire Hypercar field was split by five seconds.
Jota led the way for Porsche with Will Stevens setting the fourth-quickest time in the team’s #38 963 LMDh, but the factory Penske sqauad wasn’t too far behind in fifth thanks to a time of 1m48.427s by Laurens Vanthoor in the #6 car.
WEC returnee Nico Muller posting a lap of 1m48.470s in the #94 9X8 to propel Peugeot to sixth, while Proton slipped from third to seventh after dawn as the customer Porsche team ended up just over two seconds off the pace of the #7 Toyota.
Proton split the two factory Peugeot cars, with Paul di Resta finishing eighth in the team’s #93 entry, ahead of the #5 Porsche of Michael Christensen.
Ferrari had another low key session in Bahrain with its two LMHs finishing over 3.5s down, with Antonio Fuoco the best of the marque’s runners in the #50 499P.
Vanwall propped up the 12-car hypercar field.
In LMP2, Filipe Albuquerque again set the quickest time in the #22 United Autosports Oreca 07, leading the #63 Prema driven by Mirko Bortolotti
The two drivers were separated by 0.325s at the top of the class, with Charles Milesi another 0.005s adrift in third in the #36 Alpine.
Over in GTE Am, Daniel Serra put the #57 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GTE on top after completing a lap of the Bahrain International Circuit in 1m58.246s.
Matteo Cairoli had led the way early on in the #56 Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR-19, but eventually slipped to third in the final order behind Riccardo Pera in the similar Porsche entered by GR Racing.
Cairolo’s team-mate Gunnar Jeannette brought out the only red flag of the session when he crashed the car at the final turn just before the hour-mark.
The car didn’t return on track for the remainder of practice.