Sepang Moto2: Espargaro Tops Friday Practice


2012 Sepang Moto2 Friday Practice Results

On the first day of Moto2 free practice at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang it was Tuenti Movil HP 40’s Pol Espargaró who led the way in front of Bradley Smith and Marc Márquez.

The Moto2 grid was greeted with a dry track but warm and humid conditions for the morning session, when all the top times were set, in which Espargaró posted the quickest lap of the day with a 2.08’015.

Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith, who since Japan seems to have found that little something extra, left it late to jump up the timesheets and present himself as a podium contender this weekend. He did however crash heavily in the afternoon’s wet practice, suffering two broken toes. Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez was lapping consistently fast in the session, finishing just over three-tenths off the top.

Fourth spot went to Espargaró’s teammate Esteve Rabat, with the Spaniard once again on song after his terrific outing in Motegi last time out. He finished just ahead of Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter, who made an appearance in the top ten in fifth. Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone, who seemed out of sorts last weekend, looked to have rediscovered some form as he came in sixth, ahead of Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol.

Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi, despite being in eighth place, was still less than half a second off the front, with Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami and Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi completing the top ten. There was only one crasher in the morning session in the form of Kiefer Racing’s Mike Di Meglio, who was fortunately unhurt.

Heavy rain showers marred the afternoon practice, and it was Petronas Raceline Malaysia’s wildcard Hafizh Syahrin went top during the initial drier period in the afternoon, much to the delight of the local crowd. It was S/Master Speed Up’s Alessandro Andreozzi who was caught out first by the rain falling in the final turn, whilst NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis crashed shortly after Smith. Early signs suggest that Márquez and Lüthi were the quickest in wet guise.