Espargaro fastest for final practice in Austin

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Saturday, 20 April 2013

After finishing seventh quickest on Friday, Moto2™ championship leader Pol Espargaro moved ahead of all rivals in Saturday morning’s final practice session at Circuit of the Americas. The Tuenti HP 40 rider led Scott Redding and Takaaki Nakagami, with whom he shared the Qatar podium two weeks ago.

The first news of the day came off-track, as yesterday Tom Luthi had suffered too much pain in the right arm he injured in Valencia during pre-season testing. As was originally planned, the Interwetten Paddock rider remains on the sidelines; Sergio Gadea can no longer step in and this reduces the field to 31 riders.

Espargaro had been somewhat confused on Friday evening, admitting that he and his team must find extra speed on Saturday morning. This he did, bringing down the best lap time to 2’11.575 but edging out Marc VDS Racing Team’s Redding by less than a tenth of a second. Behind Italtrans Racing Team’s Nakagami, the top five is completed by Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol and Tuenti’s Esteve Rabat.

The session was less comfortable for Tuenti’s third rider, Axel Pons, who suffered an early fall. Also crashing was Britain’s Kyle Smith, who fell from his Blusens Avintia machine but managed a final placing of 20th. The rest of the top ten was rounded out by NGM Mobile Racing’s Simone Corsi in sixth place, QMMF Racing Team’s Anthony West, Came Iodaracing Project’s Johann Zarco, Desguaces La Torre Maptaq’s Xavier Simeon and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Ricky Cardus.

The Moto2™ field now has a break of just under three and a half hours until their Qualifying session gets underway at 3:05pm local time (GMT -5).

TAGS Americas

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