Josef Kral - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

Kral marked his return to a GP2 seat by setting the pace in practice - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

GP2 racer Josef Kral showed his worth by topping free practice in Barcelona after his recall to the Barwa Addax team.

The Czech driver was dropped by the Alejandro Agag-owned outfit for the two race weekends in Bahrain in favour of Dani Clos. With Clos on first practice duties with HRT at his home circuit, Kral has returned to the cockpit and showed he had something to prove, finishing up 0.059 seconds ahead of second-placed James Calado (Lotus).

Calado's fellow rookie Felipe Nasr finished the session in third place for DAMS, narrowly ahead of Caterham man Giedo van der Garde. Fresh from his maiden victory in the last of the four Bahrain races, Tom Dillmann was fifth fastest for Rapax, one place ahead of the points leader and the man who claimed the other three wins in Sakhir, Davide Valsecchi.

Valsecchi edged out fellow Italian Fabrizio Crestani for sixth, with Jolyon Palmer eighth as the Brit seeks to put an end to a difficult start to the campaign. Stefano Coletti was ninth, ahead of Valsecchi's nearest rival in the points Luiz Razia.

A closely-fought session saw the top 20 drivers covered by just 0.95 seconds.

Victor Guerin, making his GP2 debut at Ocean Racing Technology, was 24th, ahead only of regular backmarkers Ricardo Teixeira and Giancarlo Serenelli and the best part of a second adrift of the rest of the pack.