Corsi tops Moto2 third practice at Le Mans

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Saturday, 14 May 2011

In a closely fought third and final practice for the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, it was Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) who set the fastest time. Second was Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) ahead of Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing).

It was the Italian rider, Corsi who prevented the run of all three sessions being led by Bradl with his best lap of 1’38.888. It was a very close margin between himself and his nearest rival in the session, Swiss rider Lüthi, with just 0.024s difference. The FTR rider went three-tenths faster than the time he achieved in free practice two on Friday afternoon. Corsi’s best result in the Moto2 category to date has been a third place here in France in 2010.

The session was run in cloudy and cool conditions. Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) was fourth, 0.260s behind the quickest time with Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) fifth. The Spaniard briefly led the session and will be aiming for a good points finish this weekend in France to boost his position from the lower end of the standings. Sixth was Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) who finished second here in France last year.

After a quiet start to his weekend in the lower positions of practice, Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2), was back in the top ten with seventh position. Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) set a new lap record on his way to finishing third in the 125cc race at Le Mans last season and was eighth in the session. Ninth was Bradley Smith (Tech 3) who achieved his first rostrum finish in Grand Prix racing with a third place at Le Mans in 2007. Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) after securing his best result in Grand Prix racing with a fourth place in Estoril last time out was the final rider to make it into the top ten times.

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) finished fourth here last season was down in 16th, one spot ahead of Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing). The top 19 riders were separated by just one second, with 34 riders covered by two seconds.

Flying the flag for the local fans, Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) had an off track excursion at the start of the session when he lost the front end of his Suter and went down, narrowly avoiding ending up in the gravel. The Frenchman was able to continue, as was Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) who crashed at Turn 3 mid-way through the session. Turkish rider Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) also made a visit to the gravel trap but was able to rejoin.

Kenny Noyes (Avintia-STX) tumbled out of the session after crashing at Turn 13 and damaged his bike, therefore not rejoining the practice session. The American started this race from pole last season, in his first ever race at the French circuit.

TAGS France

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