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Rabat convincingly quickest in first practice

Rabat convincingly quickest in first practice

Esteve Rabat was in scintillating form for the first Moto2™ practice session ahead of the Gran Premio bwin de España. The Tuenti HP 40 rider headed almost the entire 45-minute period as some were caught out by the Circuito de Jerez.

Following very light rain earlier in the morning, Moto2 was treated to the best conditions of the day so far as the sun shone brightly in Andalucia. As teammate Pol Espargaro escaped a potential fall, Rabat posted a best lap of 1’43.227 and looks to be an extremely strong contender for the first European round of the 2013 campaign.

For some time it looked as though Rabat could finish a full second faster than his nearest rival, but championship-leading Marc VDS Racing Team rider Scott Redding reduced the margin to just under three tenths in the final minutes. Espargaro also improved but was the only other rider within a second of the leading lap time.

Simone Corsi became the first man of the weekend to fall, losing control of his NGM Mobile Racing bike at Sito Pons corner. There was also a frightening moment for this weekend’s two wildcard riders, as Dani Rivas (TSR Motorsport) fell on the exit of Turn 1 and was narrowly avoided by Alex Mariñelarena (TargoBank Motorsport).

Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres was fourth, ahead of Blusens Avintia’s Toni Elias and Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami. After an attempted return in Texas did not work out, Interwetten Paddock Moto2’s Tom Luthi posted a strong effort for seventh place; he had broken his right arm in a Valencia pre-season crash and found himself in too much pain to race in Austin.

Aspar’s Nico Terol triumphed in Moto2 for the first time two weeks ago, but started this weekend in ninth position; he was sandwich by Italtrans Racing Team’s Julian Simon and Desguaces La Torre Maptaq’s Xavier Simeon, who rounds out the leading ten. Pleasing the Jerez crowd, seven of the leading ten riders were representing Spain.

Moto2™ action resumes with second practice at 3:05pm local time (GMT +2).

Moto2, 2013, GRAN PREMIO bwin DE ESPAÑA, FP1

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