Quartararo crash overshadows first Australia practice

Phillip Island (Australia) (AFP) –


French rookie Fabio Quartararo suffered a big scare Friday in the first practice session for the Australian Grand Prix, stretchered from the scene after coming off his Petronas Yamaha in wet and slippery conditions.

The 20-year-old sensation, who finished second in Japan last weekend, was thrown over his handlebars on turn 6.

His bike appeared to then hit him and he was shown clutching his lower left leg before being taken to the medical centre for checks.

"@FabioQ20 has been declared FIT following his medical check," MotoGP officials tweeted soon after.

The accident overshadowed Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales -- who won at Phillip Island last year -- setting the early pace as the only person to break the one minute 39 second barrier.

He ended the 45-minute session 0.147 seconds clear of nearest rival Jack Miller on a Pramac Ducati, with world champion Mark Marquez on his Honda third.

Veteran Italian Valentino Rossi, who will race in his 400th Grand Prix on Sunday, was fourth.

A second practice session will be held later Friday ahead of qualifying on Saturday.