Rabat quickest at treacherous Le Mans

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Tuenti HP 40’s championship-leading Esteve Rabat headed up third practice for the Moto2™ Monster Energy Grand Prix de France on Saturday morning. Friday pace-setter Scott Redding was second quickest, but the Marc VDS Racing Team rider was one of numerous competitors to suffer a fall at slippery Le Mans.

Although no rain has affected any of the sessions staged so far today, overnight showers left a damp track surface and numerous particularly perilous wet patches off the racing line and on the painted kerbs. Rabat posted the best time of 1’38.741, which was half a second slower Redding’s best of Friday as Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol, Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami and Tuenti’s Pol Espargaro cemented their places in the leading quintet.

On the greasy surface, Redding escaped a large wobble on the exit of last corner Raccordement, then falling at Musee but rejoining the session. Also in the wars were wildcard rider Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Racing Malaysia), Jordi Torres (Aspar), Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Steven Odendaal (Argiñano & Gines Racing), who went down at the last corner as well as almost contacting with Sandro Cortese; this left the Dynavolt Intact GP rider with a sizeable amount of bike damage after his Kalex barrel-rolled through the Garage Vert gravel trap.

On the timesheets, Xavier Simeon was sixth for Desguaces La Torre Maptaq, with the top ten being completed by leading Frenchman Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project), Mattia Pasini (NGM Mobile Racing), the aforementioned Luthi and Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Marcel Schrotter.

Qualifying takes place at 3:05pm local time (GMT +2)

TAGS France

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