Andrea Iannone moved to the top of the timesheets in FP2 at Phillip Island but the Australian Grand Prix will continue without Cal Crutchlow who has been forced to pull out with an ankle injury. Four different manufacturers made up the top five places in a tight session with riders keen to secure a Q2 spot but Suzuki’s Iannone will go into Saturday’s third session with a narrow advantage.
Iannone was on the pace throughout the afternoon session but the headlines were unfortunately made by Crutchlow who lost control of his LCR Honda at Doohan’s corner. The Briton lost the front end going through the high-speed right-hander and was stretchered away from the scene before being taken to the medical centre. Crutchlow was later diagnosed with a fractured right ankle and will undergo surgery at Melbourne Alfred City Hospital.
To compound a miserable afternoon for the satellite Honda squad, team-mate Takaaki Nakagami also ended his afternoon with a crash, tumbling at Siberia. This saw him miss out on the chance to improve in the latter stages as riders aimed to secure a top ten place, bearing in mind that rain is forecast for Saturday’s final session.
In the end, Iannone finished on top with a 1:29.131 on the final lap of the session, relegating Danilo Petrucci to second overall. FP1 pacesetter Maverick Vinales continued to show promising pace in third with Andrea Dovizioso fourth, just ahead of Crutchlow who will take no further part. Johann Zarco was sixth ahead of Marc Marquez who had a quiet afternoon following the crash which ended his morning session.
Home favourite Jack Miller was eighth ahead of Alex Rins on the second Suzuki while Valentino Rossi held onto the last provisional Q2 spot, despite failing to improve in the final few minutes.
2018 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Combined Times)
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