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Weekend in Portugal begins with Simón on the pace

Weekend in Portugal begins with Simón on the pace

The opening session of the Grande Premio de Portugal saw Julián Simón set out his stall with the best time in 125cc Free Practice 1.

A weekend which could conclude with Julián Simón being crowned as the 2009 125cc World Champion commenced with the Spaniard registering the fastest lap by a 1.078s margin in the first free practice on Friday at Estoril.

The Bancaja Aspar man has his first chance of winning the World Championship in Portugal, even though he would need his two closest rivals – Nico Terol and Bradley Smith - to both have an off-form weekend.

Indeed, although it is only early in proceedings at the Grande Premio de Portugal, Simón’s 1’45.880 hot lap at the end of the session, coupled with a crash for Smith which saw his practice cut short as he ended up down in 18th place and a sixth fastest start for Terol, could be telling signals. Smith did not finish the session but only has bruised feet from the accident.

The rider getting nearest to Simón on the timesheet was Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A.) with a 1’46.958 lap, the only other rider to go round under the 1’47 mark. Also in the top five and all within 0.2s of Iannone were Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar), Marc Márquez (Red Bull KTM) and Simone Corsi (Fontana Racing).

The top ten also featured Terol (Jack & Jones Team), Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten), Joan Olivé (Derbi Racing Team), Esteve Rabat (Blusens Aprilia) and Johann Zarco (WTR San Marino Team).


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