Australian MotoGP: Crutchlow tops wet opening practice

Cal Crutchlow edged out Valentino Rossi in a sopping wet opening practice session at Phillip Island.

Australian MotoGP: Crutchlow tops wet opening practice

The 45-minute session was wet top to bottom, the majority of the quick times coming midway through before heavier rain made it impossible to improve in the latter stages.

The best of those quick times went to LCR Honda rider Crutchlow, who first popped up on top when he knocked Marc Marquez out of P1 with a 1m41.941s right on the half-hour mark.

Marquez hit back straight away with a 1m41.511s, Crutchlow with an immediate response of his own with a 1m40.957s – which wound up being the fastest time of the session.

Valentino Rossi was the only other rider to dip under the 1m41s mark, a stint just after Crutchlow set the benchmark time putting him into P3 with a 1m41.477s, then into P2 with a 1m40.998s.

Danilo Petrucci made good use of the best of the conditions around that 30-minute mark as well, hovering around the top three throughout the session. He wound up third with a 1m41.010s, despite losing a winglet down the main straight midway through the session.

Hometown hero Jack Miller finished up fourth, having sat on top of the times after the first few representative times had been set. The Aussie was one of the latest to set a front-running time, popping up in fourth with a 1m41.457s before having a small off at Turn 1, keeping it upright as he went through the gravel.

World Champion Marquez slipped down to fifth by the finish, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, Maverick Vinales, and Pol Espargaro. Alvaro Bautista was next, with Nicky Hayden 10th on his Repsol Honda comeback.

Jorge Lorenzo, meanwhile, had a shocking session. The Yamaha rider logged just five laps, ending up 20th, more than four and a half seconds off the pace.

First practice results:

Pos#RiderBikeLapsTimeGap
1 35  Cal Crutchlow  Honda 8 1'40.957  
2 46  Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 14 1'40.998 0.041
3 9  Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 16 1'41.010 0.053
4 43  Jack Miller  Honda 12 1'41.457 0.500
5 93  Marc Marquez  Honda 13 1'41.511 0.554
6 4  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 13 1'41.569 0.612
7 25  Maverick Viñales  Suzuki 10 1'41.813 0.856
8 44  Pol Espargaro  Yamaha 15 1'42.465 1.508
9 19  Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia 15 1'42.956 1.999
10 69  Nicky Hayden  Honda 15 1'43.012 2.055
11 6  Stefan Bradl  Aprilia 12 1'43.070 2.113
12 68  Yonny Hernandez  Ducati 16 1'43.132 2.175
13 45  Scott Redding  Ducati 13 1'43.314 2.357
14 7  Mike Jones  Ducati 16 1'43.483 2.526
15 76  Loris Baz  Ducati 10 1'44.176 3.219
16 53  Tito Rabat  Honda 17 1'44.178 3.221
17 50  Eugene Laverty  Ducati 13 1'44.181 3.224
18 41  Aleix Espargaro  Suzuki 14 1'44.551 3.594
19 8  Hector Barbera  Ducati 19 1'44.792 3.835
20 99  Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha 9 1'45.651 4.694
21 38  Bradley Smith  Yamaha 7 1'49.008 8.051
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