Thomas Luthi ended Friday afternoon at the top of the timesheets for the German Moto2 Grand Prix in another fiercely close practice session at the Sachsenring. The Swiss rider emerged from the middle of the pack to go quickest with four minutes to go but several men were within touching distance of his 1:25.458.
The closest of them was Aleix Espargaro and he was very close indeed, finishing just two thousandths of a second shy of Luthi's benchmark. This meant that despite being just 0.010s adrift, Yuki Takahashi had to settle for third after leading for much of the session.
Scott Redding was another rider to get to within a tenth of the ultimate pace as the Briton looks to turn around his miserable season so far. His lap of 1:25.529 was good enough for fourth, pushing championship leader Stefan Bradl down to fifth.
The German gave the home crowd something to cheer when moved to the front of the field with a quarter of an hour to go and although he dropped down the order, the gap to Luthi was just a tenth of a second.
The one concern for Bradl may be that he didn't enjoy the same advantage over championship rival Marc Marquez that he had this morning. The Mugello winner, who trails Bradl by 52 points, was hot on the heels of the Kalex rider in sixth, as was Bradley Smith in seventh.
The Briton was another to top the timesheets during the session but any hopes he had of ending it there disappeared following a trip through the turn one gravel trap late on, but he still held off Julian Simon who impressed again in eighth.
After going quickest in the morning, Alex de Angelis could only manage ninth in the afternoon as he failed to match his FP1 effort. Mika Kallio did make strides though and moved to within a couple of tenths of the pace in tenth.
Simone Corsi was 13th but remains seventh in the combined classification but his teammate Mattia Pasini had a huge scare when he slid off at the high-speed turn 11, fortunately escaping injury.
Combined Friday Practice Times:
|1||Thomas Luthi||SWI||Suter||Interwetten Paddock Moto2||1:25.458|
|2||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons HP 40||+0.002|
|3||Yuki Takahashi||JAP||Moriwaki||Gresini Racing Moto2||+0.010|
|4||Scott Redding||GBR||Suter||Marc VDS Racing Team||+0.071|
|5||Alex de Angelis||RSM||Motobi||JIR Moto2||+0.084|
|6||Stefan Bradl||GER||Kalex||Viessman Kiefer Racing||+0.119|
|7||Simone Corsi||ITA||FTR||Ioda Racing Project||+0.169|
|8||Marc Marquez||SPA||Suter||Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol||+0.170|
|9||Bradley Smith||GBR||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+0.174|
|10||Julian Simon||SPA||Suter||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||+0.189|
|11||Mika Kallio||FIN||Suter||Marc VDS Racing Team||+0.302|
|12||Claudio Corti||ITA||Suter||Italtrans Racing Team||+0.335|
|13||Michele Pirro||ITA||Moriwaki||Gresini Racing Moto2||+0.375|
|14||Jordi Torres||SPA||Suter||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||+0.572|
|16||Andrea Iannone||ITA||Suter||Speed Master||+0.641|
|17||Jules Cluzel||FRA||Suter||NGM Forward Racing||+0.652|
|18||Pol Espargaro||SPA||FTR||HP Tuenti Speed Up||+0.680|
|19||Max Neukirchner||GER||MZ-RE Honda||MZ Racing Team||+0.718|
|21||Xavier Simeon||BEL||Tech 3||Tech 3 B||+0.782|
|22||Anthony West||AUS||MZ-RE Honda||MZ Racing Team||+0.864|
|23||Mattia Pasini||ITA||FTR||Ioda Racing Project||+0.877|
|25||Alex Baldolini||ITA||Suter||NGM Forward Racing||+0.957|
|26||Mike Di Meglio||FRA||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+0.982|
|28||Ratthapark Wilairot||THA||FTR||Thai Honda Singha SAG||+1.228|
|29||Randy Krummenacher||SWI||Kalex||GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing||+1.274|
|31||Ricard Cardus||SPA||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||+1.340|
|32||Axel Pons||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons HP 40||+1.660|
|33||Valentin Debise||FRA||FTR||Speed Up||+1.700|
|34||Robertino Pietri||VEN||Suter||Italtrans Racing Team||+1.813|
|35||Carmelo Morales||SPA||Suter||Desguaces La Torre G22||+2.922|
|36||Santiago Hernandez||COL||FTR||SAG Team||+2.961|
|37||Mashel Al Naimi||QAT||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||+3.433|
|38||Tommaso Lorenzetti||ITA||FTR||Aeroport de Castello||+3.834|
|39||Steven Odendaal (WC)||RSA||Suter||MS Racing||+3.848|