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Aspar pair open Qatar weekend leading the way

Aspar pair open Qatar weekend leading the way

New Bancaja Aspar team-mates Julián Simón and Bradley Smith opened the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar weekend on top in the first practice.

The first free practice session of the 2009 season saw the 125cc riders undertake 40 minutes of productive riding under the floodlights in Qatar on Friday evening, with few surprises at the head of the timesheet as Julián Simón and Bradley Smith came out on top.

As the only rider going under the 2’08 mark, Simón kept up the good work after an excellent preseason, to go round a second faster than any of his rivals with a best effort of 2’07.791 on the 12th of his 14 laps.

Englishman Smith, who like his new colleague Simón was recruited by Bancaja Aspar over the winter and enjoyed a strong preseason, was second quickest with a time of 2’08.823s at a circuit where he took pole position last year.

There was plenty of Aspar representation in the top five as Sergio Gadea lapped fifth quickest, behind Nico Terol (Jack & Jones Team) and Marc Marquez (Red Bull KTM Motorsport). Coincidentally, Smith was the only non-Spaniard amongst that leading group.

The top ten was completed by Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten), Andrea Iannone (Ongetta I.S.P.A.), Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), Pol Espargaró (Derbi Racing Team) and Jonas Folger (Ongetta I.S.P.A.).

It was an incident free session with no crashes and Folger was the only rider to run into trouble as he briefly left the track at one stage, only to return quickly without problems.


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