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Takahashi sets early Moto2 pace in Estoril

Gresini Racing’s Yuki Takahashi led the way in the first practice for the bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal. Second fastest was Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) ahead of Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol).

After a difficult week for the Moriwaki rider after sadly losing his brother, the Japanese star edged out the Suter rider by a mere 0.011s in a closely fought FP1. Takahashi, who is currently in ninth place in the Championship standings, had a fastest lap of 1’42.402

Moto2 action resumed after a three-week break due to the postponement of the Motegi GP and was as competitive as ever. The top 32 riders were covered by 1.851s. The rain which had been feared to pour down on Estoril failed to materialise and the riders were faced with dry, yet humid, conditions.

Lüthi after finishing second at Jerez last time out, was pipped by Takahashi in the final part of practice but remained ahead of Márquez. The reigning 125cc World Champion who has yet to finish a Moto2 race this campaign after two crashes, was only 0.053s off the Gresini rider’s fastest time.

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) led for the majority of the first practice but eventually finished fourth. Rookie rider Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) continued his promising start to the series with the fifth fastest lap which was 0.304s behind team-mate Takahashi.

Mika Kallio made it two Marc VDS Racing bikes in the top six, one place ahead of Bradley Smith (Tech 3). The British rider finished fourth in Spain and lies in sixth place in the standings in his debut Moto2 season.

Completing the final three places in the top ten were second placed man in the championship Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) who was 0.519s off the leading pace. Championship leader and race winner from Jerez Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) was ninth, ahead of Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2).

Incidents that occurred in FP1were a crash from Kev Coghlan (Team Aeroport de Castelló), who finished in 8th place in tricky conditions in Jerez. The Scotsman fell at Turn 6 in the last third of the session. Wilcard rider Steven Odendaal (MS Racing), Max Neukirchner (MZ Racing) and Valentin Debise (Speed Up) also had offs in the final part of the practice.

Tags:
Moto2, 2011, FP1

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