Espargaró leads first practice in Qatar

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Thursday, 4 April 2013

Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaró led the way as Moto2’s opening practice session took place at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit on Thursday. The Spanish rider finished ahead of Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami and Tuenti teammate Esteve Rabat.

As was the case with the preceding session for sister category Moto3™, much of this one was spent clearing the dusty track surface as Losail celebrates its tenth MotoGP™ weekend since debuting on the calendar in 2004.

A title favourite for many this year, Espargaró – last year’s runner-up to Marc Márquez – posted a best effort of 2’01.437, edging out Nakagami by three tenths of a second. Behind third-placed Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding (recovering from an early problem) was the leading British representative from second Italtrans runner Julián Simón. Marc VDS also saw two bikes in the top seven, as Finland’s Mika Kallio completed that particular group.

All started their seasons in somewhat calm fashion, not risking any early mistakes, although a selection did experience wake-up calls in the form of some lurid moments; one of these was Technomag carXpert’s Randy Krummenacher, who finished 12th behind NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis. Just ahead and rounding out the top ten were Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) and Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project).

Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese, making his Moto2 debut for Dynavolt Intact GP, wrapped up proceedings in 16th position.

Moto2™ continues with second free practice from 9:50pm local time (GMT +3).

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