LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami claimed a hard-fought tenth place finish during FP2 at Portimao after being taken to the medical centre during the session. 

The Japanese rider suffered a big crash at the beginning of his first flying lap when coming over the crest of turn one, as it appeared as though he locked the front tyre. 

The bike then clipped Nakagami on its way to the gravel, which left the Honda man in considerable pain. 

But following a visit to the medical centre, Nakagami was back on track with 12 minutes remaining and produced a brilliant final lap to pinch tenth place from his team-mate Alex Marquez

Speaking after a tough opening day, Nakagami said: "Unfortunately, I had quite a big crash on the first lap during FP2, it was a big impact and was quite painful all over my body. 

"I’d like to thank the medical staff, because I was pushing to get back out on the track and then finally with 12 minutes to go, I was able to go back out and try my best. 

"I struggled and was not comfortable on the bike because I was in pain, but I did my best until the last moment. I am pretty happy with my P10 today, because I didn’t expect anything in this situation." 

Day-one saw changeable weather conditions throughout, but lap times were already very fast given the fact rain fell just before the second practice session. If it remains dry for FP3, we should see lap times improve further with automatic Q2 places up for grabs. 

And with Honda looking in better shape so far compared to Qatar, Nakagami is hoping to make another step forward during today’s qualifying day. 

"Thanks to all my team, they did a great job today and let’s see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully we can improve the physical condition and also the set-up of the bike, but I’m happy where we ended up," added the 29 year-old.

 

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