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Salom sets record-breaking pace in final practice

Salom sets record-breaking pace in final practice

After a somewhat low-key start to the Malaysian weekend on Friday, Moto3™ championship leader Luis Salom was back on form as he delivered the fastest ever lap of Sepang in Saturday morning practice. At the end of an all-dry session, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was joined inside the top three by Jonas Folger and Friday pace-setter Maverick Viñales.

Judging by the Day 1 results at the Sepang International Circuit, it looked as though Salom and other KTM runners may have been set for a tougher time than expected.

However, the Mallorcan looked extremely comfortable on qualifying day morning as he stormed ahead with a leading effort of 2’13.280. This left Folger (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) – who had been first to duck underneath the circuit record – almost half a second slower, with Viñales (Team Calvo) a further tenth and a half adrift. Third title contender, Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins, and Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira rounded out the top five.

Although conditions were nigh on perfect, several riders hit trouble. John McPhee (Caretta Technology – RTG) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) fell in the first half of the period, while Jasper Iwema lost control of his RW Racing GP bike after three riders headed into the quick Turn 12 together. As the chequered flag flew, Kiefer Racing’s Florian Alt skidded off the circuit at the top of the back straight; it was soon confirmed that the German had fractured his right wrist and for this reason will be unable to continue competing this weekend, while Isaac Viñales effectively missed final practice after his Ongetta-Centro Seta bike broke down on its out-lap.

With four critical events remaining in the 2013 season, Qualifying for the Moto3™ Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle GP begins at 12:35pm local time (GMT +8).


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