Cal Crutchlow set the fastest time on Friday at Phillip Island but the opening day of practice was completely disrupted by torrential rain in Australia. FP1 took place in wet conditions but an even heavier downpour in the afternoon saw FP2 virtually washed out, leading to a revision of Saturday’s timetable.
Crutchlow, who triumphed in similar conditions at Brno back in August, set the pace ahead of Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi but the Movistar Yamaha rider wouldn’t remain in third place overall. The Italian was one of several riders to run Michelin’s new super-soft front tyre in the wet conditions but riders were not allowed to complete more than ten laps on the compound, an instruction Rossi didn’t follow. As a result, all lap times from that run were deleted, relegating him to 20th place.
To make matters worse for the factory Yamaha squad, Jorge Lorenzo encountered more problems in wet conditions, leaving him nineteenth overall, and if conditions don’t improve in time for Saturday morning’s final practice session, both Lorenzo and Rossi face the prospect of competing in Qualifying 1.
Home favourite Jack Miller moved up to third at Rossi’s expense with newly crowned champion Marc Marquez in fourth, just ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales, the two men that joined him on the podium last weekend at Motegi. Pol Espargaro was seventh fastest while both Aprilia riders head into FP3 in the top ten, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl sandwiching Repsol Honda returnee Nicky Hayden in eighth and tenth.
FP3 will now take place 9:55am local time on Saturday morning with the session extended to one hour.
2016 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Free Practice Classification)
|1||35. Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||LCR Honda||1:40.957|
|2||9. Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||1:41.010|
|3||73. Jack MILLER||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:41.457|
|4||93. Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:41.511|
|5||4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:41.569|
|6||25. Maverick VINALES||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:41.813|
|7||44. Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:42.465|
|8||19. Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:42.956|
|9||69. Nicky HAYDEN||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:43.012|
|10||6. Stefan BRADL||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:43.070|
|11||68. Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||Pull & Bear Aspar Team||1:43.132|
|12||45. Scott REDDING||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||1:43.314|
|13||7. Mike JONES||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:43.483|
|14||76. Loris BAZ||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:44.176|
|15||53. Tito RABAT||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:44.178|
|16||50. Eugene LAVERTY||Ducati||Pull & Bear Aspar Team||1:44.181|
|17||41. Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:44.551|
|18||8. Hector BARBERA||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:44.792|
|19||99. Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:45.651|
|20||46. Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:47.225|
|21||38. Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:49.008|