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Cortese stars in Phillip Island opener

Cortese stars in Phillip Island opener

Sandro Cortese reigned supreme as the World Championship returned to Phillip Island today with the Intact Racing Team Germany rider on top form in the first free practice at the Australian circuit, ahead of Terol and Faubel.

The 125cc World Championship track action began on Friday under bright sunshine with practice sessions set one hour later than usual as the German rider set the pace with a 1’38.805, a margin of 0.135s over current standings leader Nicolas Terol (Bankia Aspar). Héctor Faubel followed his team mate with a 1’39.132 lap time with Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) following by 0.217s to assume fourth.

Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) grabbed the fifth spot in the timings for his first outing at the southern Australian circuit, with a substantial 6 tenths margin over the next group of close ranking riders led a third Bankia Aspar rider, Adrián Martín.

Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) follwed Martín by 0.054s, with Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) both 0.012s behind the Spaniard to take the eighth and ninth spots.Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) was two tenths off Folger and 1.5s off the leader Cortese in tenth.

Luis Salom crashed early, and while the rider was up and OK, his bike was carried out of the gravel by track marshals. He finished the session in 31st, just behind the highest ranking wildcard of the session, Joshua Hook (


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