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Aoyama sets the pace ahead of qualifying

Aoyama sets the pace ahead of qualifying

The second 250cc free practice of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar weekend ended with Hiroshi Aoyama as the fastest participant.

Scot Racing Team’s Hiroshi Aoyama was the quickest rider in the final free practice session of early Saturday evening in the Qatari desert and the Japanese rider will hope to continue that form in qualifying later tonight.

As several riders swapped places at the head of the timesheets late in the session Aoyama set his best time of 2’01.106 on the last of his 19 laps, to put him just 0.020s ahead of second fastest rider Héctor Barberá (Pepe World Team).

Mapfre Aspar pair Álvaro Bautista and Mike di Meglio were the next two names on the timesheet, Bautista lapping just 0.063s slower than Aoyama and Di Meglio 0.380s off the pace – both with late best times. Thomas Luthi (Emmi-Caffe Latte) completed the top five, half a second down on pace-setter Aoyama.

Also featuring in the front ten were Roberto Locatelli (Metis Gilera), Friday’s fastest rider Gabor Talmacsi (Balaton Racing Team), Aoyama’s Scot Racing team-mate Raffaele de Rosa, Mattia Pasini (Team Toth Aprilia) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing).

World Champion Marco Simoncelli finished the session down in 14th position, due to his right wrist injury. However, he was only 1.294s off the pace, nearly two and a half seconds quicker than on Friday - and will attempt to up his rhythm in 250cc qualifying which takes place at 12.05am tonight.


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