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Espargaró the man to beat on day one at Phillip Island

Espargaró the man to beat on day one at Phillip Island

After a second Moto2™ free practice session that was cut short by rain at the AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island it was Tuenti Movil HP 40’s Pol Espargaró who led the day ahead of Scott Redding and Tom Lüthi.

Espargaró was instantly on the pace in the second session, not taking long to post his fastest time of 1.34’578, the fastest of the day, before ominous clouds arrived with 20 minutes left and dumped a hefty spot of rain on the circuit. And with many riders still doing set-up work and not focussing on outright lap times until the end, this meant that Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding retained second spot in the combined timesheets, despite only finishing in eighth in FP2. Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi and Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio finished behind the Brit, also thanks to their times from the morning.

QMMF Racing’s Ant West, fresh from his first ever podium in Moto2 in Malaysia last weekend, ended the day in fifth, despite setting the third quickest time of the afternoon, ousting Kiefer Racing’s Mike Di Meglio into sixth. Seventh spot went to potential championship winner this weekend, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez, with the Spaniard’s team fortunate to have resolved an electrical issue, which stopped him from setting a time in the morning. Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone, who despite not looking like his usual self, set the eighth quickest time of the day with a quick run in the afternoon, with GP Team Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher making a welcome return from injury in ninth.

Completing the top ten was last race winner Alex de Angelis on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing machine, after the San Marino rider improved marginally in the afternoon. Tech 3 Racing’s Xavier Siméon suffered engine problems early on in the second session, while Arguiñano Racing Team’s Ricky Cardús crashed in both sessions, fortunately walking away unscathed. Following the rain, some riders went out on track to check conditions with wet tyres, yet no hot-laps were set, with not much data to be gathered.


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