Following are Moto2 and Moto3 reports from Friday’s practice sessions for the 2012 Aragon Grand Prix.
Moto2: Friday Report
JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco emerged as the man to beat after dominating a wet first day of Moto2 free practice at the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón ahead of Andrea Iannone and Alex de Angelis.
Zarco’s reputation as a wet-weather specialist keeps growing as the French rookie posted the fastest time of 2.07’844 in the afternoon practice, despite crashing on his final laps. His time was sufficient to relegate Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone into second, with the Italian finding his best form in a delayed morning session. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis did well to recover from a crash in the latter part of the day, managing to head back out on track to post his best time.
Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi was consistently quick all day, stirring up memories from his dominant wet-weather victory in Le Mans earlier this year. Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Gino Rea was the surprise inclusion of the day, as the young Brit showed once again that the wet suits both him and his machine, setting his time in the first practice. Italtrans Racing Team’s Claudio Corti was also in good shape posting the sixth fastest time of the day.
Blusens Avintia’s Julián Simón was the top Spaniard at his home track in seventh, although his time was nearly a second off Zarco’s. Despite finishing the day eighth fastest, Xavier Siméon’s outing in the afternoon was marred with two heavy falls, although the Tech 3 Racing rider walked away unscathed. Benefitting from the conditions was QMMF Racing’s Anthony West, who reminded people why he is known as a wet-weather specialist. Rounding out the top ten was Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Marcel Schrötter.
The afternoon practice was a crash-strewn affair, as Zarco’s teammate Eric Granado had a big highside, with Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio and Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez also taking a spill. Márquez ended the day in 11th, whilst his nearest championship pursuer, Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró, came in 12th. Espargaró was unhappy at the end of the second session, as he encountered traffic twice as he tried to post a hot lap.
Moto3 Friday Report
Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira set the pace on an eventful first day of Moto3™ free practices at the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón ahead of Luis Salom and Jonas Folger.
It was in the morning session held on a damp track when the best lap times were set with Oliveira setting a 2.11’415, pushing RW Racing GP’s local rider Luis Salom into second by over 1.3 seconds. Closely behind was Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s revelation of the season Jonas Folger, who will no doubt be one of the favourites this weekend.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s championship leader Sandro Cortese made a good start to by placing his bike in fourth in the timesheets, only marginally behind Salom. His teammate Danny Kent completed the top five, just under two seconds off top spot. AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin coped well with the conditions to finish the day in sixth, as he continues his quest for his first ever podium.
Salom’s teammate Brad Binder ended the day in seventh ahead of Estrella Galicia’s Alex Rins, who will be hoping to emulate his teammate in the sessions tomorrow. Bradol Larresport’s wildcard Jorge Navarro did well to put his bike ninth ahead of Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales in tenth.
The morning session was marred with crashes after Kent’s bike left oil on the track in turn 7, causing Oliveira and JHK t-shirt Laglisse’s Adrian Martín to crash. This brought out the red flag four minutes before the end, after which the session was cancelled due to the clean-up taking too long. That practice also saw falls from Rins, San Carlo Gresini Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli, IodaRacing’s Armando Pontone, Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb and Martín’s teammate Efrén Vázquez.
The afternoon session, which was held in heavy rain, saw riders around five seconds slower per lap, with Caretta Technology’s stand-in John McPhee and Technomag-CIP-TSR’s Kenta Fujii taking a tumble. None of the riders were injured in the crashes.