Bradl Tops FP2 In Malaysia As Crashes Continue

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Kenan Sofuoglu crashes during FP2 - Photo Credit:

Kenan Sofuoglu crashes during FP2 - Photo Credit:


Championship leader Stefan Bradl stayed out of trouble to set the fastest time of the day in Malaysia but once again, the session was overshadowed by a series of accidents. This morning's session saw Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith among the riders to go down after a brief rain shower and the reappearance of the sunshine did nothing to prevent further chaos.

Max Neukirchner was the first to fall in FP2 as the German appeared to leave his braking too late for turn four while moments later Esteve Rabat and Mike Di Meglio also found their way into a gravel trap. This time, Rabat was at fault as he slid into the side of the Frenchman as they rounded turn one.

Turn one also caught out Pol Espargaro with the FTR rider losing it all on his own while Kenan Sofuoglu (above) slid off at the other end of the pit straight, ending up on the grass at the final corner. Kenny Noyes was another to explore the gravel traps, as were the Mapfre Aspar riders Jordi Torres and Ivan Moreno but they were harmless compared to the two accidents that took place in the closing stages.

The first involved Andrea Iannone who speared off track on the entry to turn seven, with the Italian having to be helped away with pain in one of his legs. But the second crash was the most spectacular and certainly the most concerning of the afternoon as Ricard Cardus highsided his QMMF Moriwaki at turn two with the bike catapulting him several feet into the air. The Spaniard landed heavily on the tarmac before being helped away by marshals but will not run again this weekend.

Bradl had a minor off-track moment but was lucky to find the tarmac run-off area at turn eight and later set the quickest time, a 2:08.464 which was enough to see off a late challenge from Aleix Espargaro.

Morning pacesetter Dominique Aegerter was third while Michele Pirro followed Bradl around the circuit to claim fourth. Thomas Luthi took a strong fifth ahead of Alex de Angelis, Simone Corsi and Mika Kallio on the Marc VDS Suter. The Finn outpaced teammate Scott Redding by 0.068s but that was enough to put him three places ahead of the Briton who finished down in 11th.

After their morning crashes, Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith sat out the afternoon session although the latter looks likely to miss the rest of the weekend with a suspected broken rib.

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