JULES CLUZEL/Mattoon Racing Aprilia pipped HECTOR BARBERA/Pepe World Team Aprilia as the fastest 250cc rider Friday afternoon in the third and last practice of the day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Clauzel’s best time of 1:51.512 came on Lap 15 of 17. Up to that point, Barbera had led most of the session. Much of the session was run on a drying track while the showers briefly abated, but near the end of the hour-long session the rain returned. The session ended to a thunderous clap.

KAREL ABRAHAM/Cardion AB Motoracing Aprilia took a long, slow graceful spill off his motorcycle with three minutes to go. No harm, no foul, and he got back up and running. He was fourth at the time and had just turned his fastest lap. His time held.

Running for the checkered flag, SHOYA TOMIZAWA/CIP Moto – GP250 Honda took a spill, and his motorcycle made it hard into the barrier, with Tomizawa running after. He ended up seventeenth.

Neither rider appeared hurt.

Twenty-five riders are entered. Two are North American Wild Card riders: BARRETT LONG, 25, of Miami FL, USA/Longevity Racing Yamaha and ADAM ROBERTS, 24, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada/Rat Racing Yamaha. Both were outside 107 per cent, and “not qualified.” Basically, this puts them on notice that their speeds are more than 10 per cent of the leader; that they have to pick it up or show they’re capable of running the race. They have a practice session Saturday morning before afternoon qualifying.

Five riders each are from Italy and Spain, three from France, two each from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Japan and Switzerland, and one each from Canada, Russia, Thailand and USA.