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Rabat sets Friday pace in Malaysia

Rabat sets Friday pace in Malaysia

Tito Rabat was comfortably quickest as Moto2™ practice began on Friday ahead of the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle GP. The Tuenti HP 40 rider led Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi, as Scott Redding moved ahead of championship rival Pol Espargaro after beginning the day in 12th place.

Already quickest in the morning when rain had affected the opening session, Rabat proceeded to register a 2’07.321 lap time during the dry afternoon. There was a significant gap of seven tenths of a second back to Luthi, as Marc VDS Racing Team’s Redding made huge strides to crack the top three. This left the Englishman almost two tenths up on Rabat’s teammate and closest title rival Espargaro, as Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami finished fifth despite a crash.

Numerous riders were caught out by a lack of grip, particularly off the racing line following the rain of earlier in the day. As well as Nakagami, there were slip-ups for Azlan Shah (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), wildcard Decha Kraisart (Singha Eneos Yamaha Tech3) and Thitipong Warokorn (Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2). These in-turn followed incidents in the morning for Johann Zarco of Came Iodaracing Project and Rafid Topan Sucipto, whose QMMF Racing Team outfit suffered a garage fire during the afternoon which caused damage to bikes and equipment.

Alex de Angelis was sixth for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, ahead of Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter, Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol who won last time out in Aragón, Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio and the aforementioned Zarco. Moto2™ continues with third practice on Saturday, from 10:55am local time (GMT +2).


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