Newly crowned world champion Marc Marquez is still in the fight but British rider Cal Cutchlow wasn't so lucky after a dramatic day of practice at the Australian MotoGP.
Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Crutchlow (LCR Honda) were among several riders to crash in trademark tricky weather conditions at the Phillip Island circuit on Friday.
The Spanish star recovered from a crash in the opening practice to be seventh overall after two sessions but Crutchlow suffered a broken ankle in a nasty high-speed slide and will require surgery.
Italian rider Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) avoided the carnage to be a surprise leader at the top of the standings after a blistering late run.
Local hope Jack Miller (Pramac Racing Ducati) was second quickest in the opening session but fell off the pace to finish eighth going into Saturday's third practice session.
Marquez, who claimed his seventh world title at Motegi in Japan last week, was left puzzled by his crash heading into turn 10.
"It was a strange day … it was not the best Friday after being world champion," Marquez said.
"It was really strange, the feeling I had with the bike. It was difficult to understand the front tyre.
"I think it was just the second time this season that I crashed without pushing (the limit) … I was just riding in an easy way.
"This is a very special circuit and sometimes the best set-up is not working, so now it's time to try to understand that.
"But like all the season, we forget Friday. We don't think about our position on Friday, we just think about Sunday."
The top 10 riders on aggregate across all three practice sessions go through to second qualifying on Saturday where they will fight it out for pole position for Sunday's 27-lap race.
The remainder of the field goes into the first qualifying session, with the top two riders earning entry into second qualifying.
Miller, who led early in last year's race before settling for seventh, has the job ahead of him to qualify on the front row of the grid as he did in Japan last week.
"I'm satisfied with the performance of the bike today but we need a little bit more to be competitive in the race," Miller said.
"We're going to need to find a little more with the settings but it's only Friday and we've got plenty of time up our sleeves.
"We've got some ideas of what we're going to do."
Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Racing Ducati) finished second overall, with Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) third and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) fourth.
Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) finished the day in 10th spot.