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Bradl fastest in an eventful first practice in France

Bradl fastest in an eventful first practice in France

In a session which was red flagged due to oil on the track causing four riders to crash, Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) set the quickest lap of the opening Moto2 practice at this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. Second was Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) with Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) third.

The 45-minute session was red flagged midway through due to oil on the track which sent numerous riders sliding off at Turn 10. Ricky Cardús (QMMF Racing Team) was first to be affected and then it was the turn of Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) to be caught out. The reigning 125cc World Champion was lucky not to be hit by other riders who fell at the same corner after his accident. The Spaniard managed to avoid Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up) and Xavier Simeon (Tech 3 B) who came hurtling towards him and also were victim to the oil spillage. All riders involved were okay and did not suffer injuries. The track was then cleaned up and the session resumed.

Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) who leads the Moto2 World Championship by 13 points after his second win of the 2011 campaign in Estoril, set the fastest time of 1’39.150 to continue his early season form. The German rider’s advantage over his nearest rival was 0.390s.

Lüthi was second quickest despite a crash at Turn 8 in the final few moments which left the Swiss rider looking very dejected. Takahashi who secured third place on the rostrum in Portugal, slid off into the gravel in the latter stages of FP1 but managed to retain the third quickest lap time of the first practice session.

Forward Racing’s Jules Cluzel was fourth. He is one of three Frenchman competing in the intermediate class for this race and Cluzel will be hoping for a good weekend in front of his home fans after his non-finish in Estoril. Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar), second in Portugal behind Bradl, was fifth fastest in the morning practice.

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) was sixth ahead of Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2). Eighth was Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) who crashed into the gravel but was able to remount and return to the pits. The final two places in the top ten went to the aforementioned Márquez and Bradley Smith (Tech 3).The young British rider finished eighth in Portugal and is placed eighth overall in the Moto2 Championship, in his first season in the category.

As ever with Moto2, the competition was very close amongst the riders, with the top ten being separated by just 0.701s and with the top 34 riders covered by two seconds.

Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) was another rider who suffered a crash in the opening session of the weekend, when he was thrown off his bike at Turn 14. The Italian escaped harm.


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