Portimão MotoGP Friday Round Up: When Safety Should Be Paramount, But Sometimes Isn't
The first day of MotoGP's new era did not proceed entirely to plan. There were a lot of reasons for that, some the fault of Dorna, some completely out of their hands. But we will get to that in a minute. First, an institutional failure.
As the MotoGP riders entered the final and hectic 15 minutes of what we must now call P2 – the second timed practice, which in effect determines who will pass directly into Q2, and who will have to hope to defeat 10 other riders in Q1 for one of the two spots which will take you into Q2 – the combination of low grip, falling temperatures, and sheer unbelievable pace the riders were setting came back to bite a couple of the MotoGP riders.
Two men fell within a couple of seconds of each other, in almost the same spot, in almost the same way. Pol Espargaro fell first, his rear letting go over the crest at Turn 10, before spitting him off the bike. Miguel Oliveira fell a few seconds later, a little way ahead of Espargaro, the rear of his Aprilia letting to in a similar way, and catapulting the Portuguese rider high into the air, before he came down hard enough to knock all of the wind out of his sails.
Cause of the crash