Friday at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix got off to a fairly dramatic start as a red flag brought proceedings to a halt for some time, causing delays throughout the day. Stefano Nepa’s CIP Moto KTM leaked oil leaving pit lane, and despite stopping on track continued to coat most of the circuit in the oil, with championship challenger Marco Bezzecchi falling victim to it, setting up a long delay for the track to be cleaned, with the rain also coming down as an extra complication. Nepa was suspended from FP2 as a consequence.
Once action began again it was Jorge Martin who went quickest in FP1, but he didn't remain there as FP2 saw everyone improve their lap times in much better conditions. Aron Canet took back the top and bettered Martin's time from the morning, with the points leader pushed down to second. Marcos Ramirez was only two thousandths in arrears to complete the top three, just ahead of twice-crashing Bezzecchi.
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Gabriel Rodrigo was fifth quickest on day one, ahead of Motegi podium finisher Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Ayumu Sasaki as the Japanese rider once again showed top pace on Friday. Tony Arbolino and Enea Bastianini completed the top ten.
One big crash saw Fabio Di Giannantonio running into trouble and then into Nakarin Atiratphuvapat, although the Thai rider was able to take to the run off and rejoin. Di Giannantonio, who suffered a big highside in Japan, was taken to the Medical Centre for a check-up and declared fit to continue at Phillip Island.