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125cc practice kicks off proceedings with Smith in front

125cc practice kicks off proceedings with Smith in front

World Championship action got underway on track in Qatar with the first 125cc free practice session, following on from the lower cylinder category testing that took place earlier this week.

World Championship action got underway on track in Qatar with the first 125cc free practice session, following on from the lower cylinder category testing that took place earlier this week.

Two of the frontrunners from the test visit to the Losail International circuit, Bradley Smith and Mike di Meglio continued their fine form by occupying the top two timesheet spots in the session; the Briton besting the Frenchman with a lap of 206.904. The Polaris World rider was the only participant to go round in a time under 207, but was over a second and a half off the previous fastest 125cc night lap of the track, set last Sunday.

The overall pace followed a similar trend, with the remainder of the top ten putting down times ranging from low to high 207s.

Making his Grand Prix debut this weekend, Blusens Aprilia Juniors Scott Redding showed that his striking test performance in Qatar was no fluke, once again becoming the second highest placing Briton in the top three. Redding was two hundredths of a second faster than reigning 125cc World Champion and 2007 Qatar poleman Gabor Talmacsi.

Jack & Jones WRBs Nico Terol made a promising start to his year after disappointment in 2007, as did American rider Stevie Bonsey. The DeGraaf Grand Prix teenager is used to night riding from his dirtbike days, but few would have expected to see his name in the top ten in the opening practice session. He was nearly three tenths of a second faster than team-mate Danny Webb, with Efren Vazquez, Raffaele De Rosa and Stefano Bianco completing the fastest ten in the 45 minute long run.

The first riders to become acquainted with the asphalt in Qatar on Friday night were full season debutants Roberto Lacalendola and Takaaki Nakagami, in addition to Andrea Iannone, Robert Muresan and Randy Krummenacher. The latter opted out of continuing with the session.

Tags:
125cc, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, FP1

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