Brave Takahashi Goes Quickest In Portugal

Yuki Takahashi produced a brave performance to set the pace in FP1 for the Moto2 Grand Prix of Portugal just days after the tragic loss of his brother.

Koki Takahashi passed away on Sunday 24th April after being involved in a road traffic accident, and older brother Yuki later took the decision to race on this weekend.

The Gresini Racing rider hit the front with ten minutes remaining with a lap time of 1:42.402, giving him the narrowest of advantages over Thomas Luthi (1:42.413). Marc Marquez made a late bid to knock Takahashi off the top but was forced to settle for third, 0.053s behind.

British fans will have been encouraged by the return to form of Scott Redding who led the way for the majority of the session. The Marc VDS rider was fourth fastest but his performance was all the more impressive considering he set his best time (1:42.602) in the opening ten minutes of the session.

Teammate Mika Kallio was one of a number of riders to leap up the order as the chequered flag fell, with the Finn taking sixth just behind Michele Pirro.

Bradley Smith has made an excellent start to life in the intermediate class, entering this event in sixth place in the Championship. The Oxford rider took a while to get going this morning but eventually got up to sixth, ahead of the season's two race winners.

Qatar winner Stefan Bradl and current championship leader Andrea Iannone were eighth and ninth with just one thousandth of a second separating them. Alex de Angelis completed a top ten that was covered by just 0.538s.

Kev Coghlan was one of the standout performers in Jerez on his way to eighth position. The Scotsman didn't enjoy the best of starts at Estoril however, only completing ten laps this morning after a crash at turn six and finishing down in 38th.