Hernandez fastest in wet crash-fest

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Pramac Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez topped the opening MotoGP free practice session at a soaking wet Misano where 40 per cent of the field, including Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, crashed out. On a surface akin to frozen glass, Hernandez was 1.693s faster than reigning world champion Marc Marquez with local man Andrea Dovizioso, on the factory Ducati, in third and Stefan Bradl in fourth place. Monster Yamaha’s Smith was the first man down, losing the front on the brakes in a straight line at turn eight on his out lap and he was followed by Karel Abraham, who looked to have clipped Hernadez as he tried to ride around the outside of the Columbian. Former 250cc World Champion Hiro Aoyama was next, falling at the last corner and then the Espargaro brothers went down in quick succession. Pol Espargaro was following Andrea Iannone down the start/finish straight and the Pramac Ducati man dropped it on the brakes. The Monster Yamaha man then had the exact same crash. Forward Yamaha’s Aleix fell at turn four. Rossi was next to chuck it up the road, losing the front on the brakes bolt upright into turn four and didn’t go back out while Crutchlow looked likely to be the last of the fallers, crashing on his fourth lap but that honour went to Danilo Petrucci, who slid off on a closed throttle with two minutes left. Fortunately, none of the riders were hurt although Iannone bashed his ankle.