Hector Barbera set the fastest lap time during Friday practice for the 250cc Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, on a day when world championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama was only tenth.

The Japanese had been just 13th with ten minutes of the hour to go, before gaining three places to finish two places behind Scot Honda team-mate Raffaele de Rosa.

The good news for Aoyama was that his nearest title rival Alvaro Bautista - presently 13 points behind - was only sixth fastest for Aspar Aprilia. Third in the championship Marco Simoncelli was fifth for Gilera as he readapted to a two-stroke after last weekend's WSBK outing.

Pepe World Aprilia rider Barbera meanwhile claimed the top spot by 0.550sec from Alex Debon (Blusens Aprilia), with Bautista's team-mate Mike di Meglio third and Karel Abraham fourth for Cardion AB Aprilia.

2009 race winner Mattia Pasini was left shrugging his shoulders with no bikes in the Team Toth pits, due to apparent payment 'problems' between the team and Aprilia.

Friday practice - Estoril:

1. Barbera (Aprilia) 1min 40.817sec
2. Debon (Aprilia) +0.550sec
3. di Meglio (Aprilia) +0.706sec
4. Abraham (Aprilia) +0.944sec
5. Simoncelli (Gilera) +0.952sec
6. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.973sec
7. Faubel (Honda) +1.003sec
8. de Rosa (Honda) +1.113sec
9. Locatelli (Gilera) +1.327sec
10. Aoyama (Honda) +1.358sec