Jack Miller was fastest in practice for the MotoGP Portugal Grand Prix as several riders suffered crashes in FP2 in Portimao.
Track conditions improved throughout the day and a stunning final sector from Miller saw him go a tenth-and-a-half quicker than Maverick Vinales.
Two red flags meant the session lasted for nearly two hours. The first interruption was caused by a transponder issue, then Raul Fernandez, Miguel Oliveira and Pol Espargaro all crashed.
Espargaro lost the rear of his KTM over the hill going into Turn 10 and tumbled into the barrier. MotoGP confirmed he was “conscious” and revealed he has “back and chest trauma”, before being transferred to a local hospital.
Franceso Bagnaia rounded out the top three as the defending champion pulled over to the side with eight minutes remaining, due to a fuel or technical problem.
Marc Marquez tracked Fabio Quartararo in the final part of the session, but he also went down in the final two minutes and was left outside the top 10 in 14th, so will have to go through Q1.
Luca Marini, Jorge Martin, Qaurtararo, Johann Zarco, Marco Bezzecchi, Aleix Espargaro and Enea Bastianini were the riders inside the top 10, so will advance straight to Q2.
Alex Marquez, who had topped FP1 on his first outing for Gresini Ducati, just missed out on a Q2 spot in 11th, with Joan Mir and Alex Rins among the other names that will be in Q1.
This weekend will see the first ever sprint race, where championship points will be on offer for the top nine finishers on Saturday afternoon.
Each round will have a sprint this season, with the grid being set by the results of qualifying.
The main race itself will take place on Sunday at 14:00 GMT in Portimao.
– – –
Source: Euro Sports