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Simoncelli and Bautista lead off 250cc practice in Assen

Simoncelli and Bautista lead off 250cc practice in Assen

The main protagonists in Donington Park, Marco Simoncelli and Alvaro Bautista were together again in the 250cc opening practice session.

The Assen timing screens for the opening 250cc practice session once again placed Marco Simoncelli and Alvaro Bautista side by side, as the duo look set to continue their frequent and entertaining battles this weekend in Assen. Metis Gilera rider Simoncelli drew first blood, so to speak, with a 1´40.144 lap some three-tenths of a second faster than that of his Mapfre Aspar rival.

The pair have been on the front row together for the past four races, and appear to be set for a shootout this afternoon in the opening quarter litre qualifying session. Joining them will likely be Team Toth Aprilia´s Hector Barbera, third in the first practice and himself on a run of front row placings. He ran off-track in his morning/afternoon outing.

Lotus Aprilia´s pairing of Aleix Espargaro and Alex Debon were fourth and fifth, respectively, albeit over a second down on Simoncelli´s time, whilst Hector Faubel, Lukas Pesek, Hiroshi Aoyama, Yuki Takahashi and Thomas Luthi completed the top ten. Current World Championship leader Mika Kallio experienced a slow start down in twelfth place.

The only rider to crash during the session was Cardion AB´s Karel Abraham, although he was unhurt in the incident.

250cc, 2008, A-STYLE TT ASSEN, FP1

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