MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo was quickest in second practice at Estoril as the rain abated after the earlier storms.
Following a horrendous morning of weather, conditions finally began to improve during the MotoGP session, with the rain halting and sun actually breaking through, allowing the track to begin drying. That meant a flurry of fast time in the closing stages of the session, with Lorenzo emerging on top for Yamaha with a time of 1m48.522sec.
That time initially put him nearly a second clear of the field, but Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Lorenzo's teammate Valentino Rossi improved their pace to get within 0.135 and 0.361sec, respectively.
Casey Stoner (Ducati) had been on top prior to Lorenzo's late run, and he stayed fourth, ahead of Ben Spies (Tech 3 Yamaha) and regular wet-weather star Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda).
LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet had been quickest on several occasions but was pushed back in the latter part of the session, ending up seventh.
Dani Pedrosa (Honda) was a tentative 13th as he continued to recover from his collarbone injury, while Carlos Checa was slowest as he re-acclimatized on his return to MotoGP with Pramac Ducati after a three-year absence.
Several riders had accidents on the slippery surface, though all walked away without serious injury. Honda's Andrea Dovizioso and Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards both went down at Turn 7, while Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista had a high-speed accident at Turn 2 in the closing minutes. Hector Barbera also crashed his Aspar Ducati early in the session.
To make up for the track time lost in this morning's session, Saturday's practice and qualifying have been lengthened from the planned 45 minutes back up to the standard one-hour duration. The session lengths had been reduced for this weekend due to the return of Friday morning practice.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m48.522s
2. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m48.657s + 0.135s
3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m48.883s + 0.361s
4. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m49.061s + 0.539s
5. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m49.721s + 1.199s
6. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m49.784s + 1.262s
7. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m50.043s + 1.521s
8. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m51.273s + 2.761s
9. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m52.294s + 3.772s
10. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m52.575s + 4.053s
11. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m53.131s + 4.609s
12. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m53.510s + 4.988s
13. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m53.592s + 5.070s
14. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m53.769s + 5.247s
15. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 1m54.389s + 5.867s
16. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m54.410s + 5.888s
17. Carlos Checa Pramac Ducati 1m54.444s + 5.922s