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Lüthi leads final practice at Estoril

Lüthi leads final practice at Estoril

Third placed rider in the Moto2 standings, Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) was the fastest man in the last practice session before qualifying later today. Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) and Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) were second and third.

The Swiss rider’s best lap of 1’43.168 was just 0.048s quicker than Sofuoglu. Lüthi who finished just outside the points at this race last season in 16th, will be looking to build on his performances from the first two rounds of the 2011 campaign at this weekend’s bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal.

After storms overnight, the circuit was damp for Moto2 final practice, but had slowly been drying out after the 125 and MotoGP sessions had run. Times were one second slower than the fastest set on Friday morning. Turkish rider Sofuoglu had been heading the large majority of the final practice until Lüthi bettered his time in the final stages. Current 125cc World Champion Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) was 0.201s behind the fastest time.

Gresini Racing Moto2 had their riders in fourth and sixth place in FP3, but it was the newcomer Michele Pirro who had the advantage over his team-mate Yuki Takahashi, who was fastest yesterday in both the wet and dry sessions. The Japanese was just over half a second off the fastest time set by Lüthi. Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) who battled through the pack to 14th in last year’s race, split the Gresini Racing duo and was fifth.

The second Technomag-CIP bike was also in the top ten with Dominique Aegerter finishing in seventh. Bradley Smith (Tech 3) crashed out near the end of the session but remained in eighth. Scott Redding (MarcVDS Racing) who set the fastest lap at the Portuguese race in 2010 after fighting through the field was ninth, 0.734s behind. The final spot in the top ten went to Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda Singha-SAG).

There were several incidents in the final practice. Mike di Meglio (Tech 3) and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) crashed early on and had to find an alternative method of returning to the pits. Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) slid off at turn one but was able to remount. Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up) had just jumped up to second fastest and then had a front end crash at turn 6 which dropped him down the order.

The top 12 riders were covered by a second, with the first 27 riders being separated by a two second margin.


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