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Wildcard Syahrin quickest in rain-hit Sepang afternoon practice

Wildcard Syahrin quickest in rain-hit Sepang afternoon practice

In a Moto2™ afternoon practice session hit with rain early on it was Petronas Raceline Malaysia’s wildcard Hafizh Syahrin who made use of the short dry time at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang to go top ahead of Axel Pons and Dominique Aegerter.

The Moto2™ practice started out in largely dry conditions after the sun had dispelled most of the water from the earlier downpour in the MotoGP™ session. These conditions did however not hold out long as the rain started lashing down with 34 minutes left to go. As all riders headed back into the pits it was to the great delight of the local fans to see local rider Syahrin at the top of the timesheet, having set the quickest time of 2.13’493. He was followed by Tuenti Movil HP 40’ Axel Pons and Technomag-CIP’s Aegerter.

Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone looked to have found his stride some more in the early dry stages coming in fourth, ahead of Kiefer Racing’s Mike di Meglio, who did well to recover from a crash in the morning session. Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami replicated his good form from the morning to finish sixth, ahead of NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team’s Yuki Takahashi. Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres finished in eighth, whilst Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Gino Rea and Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio completed the top ten.

Following a 15-minute stint in the pits, all riders headed back out on track to complete some full wet running to prepare for possibility of a wet qualifying or race. S/Master Speed Up’s Alessandro Andreozzi was an early faller when the rain began to fall, whilst Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith and NGM’s Alex de Angelis both crashed heavily in the fully wet conditions, fortunately walking away from the incidents. Smith was however diagnosed with two broken toes after the session.

Little will have been learned by the riders in the drier part of the session with too not much time to work on set-up, however in the wet it was Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Márquez and Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi who set the best times in their relatively short stint. The combined timesheets saw none of the riders improve on their morning times, meaning it was Espargaró who stayed on top ahead of Smith and Márquez.


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