Terol Returns to the Front in FP1 at Mugello

Nicolas Terol shrugged off any concerns that he would be slowed down by a finger injury as he set a blistering pace in first practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

The championship leader missed last weekend's Dutch TT at Assen to have surgery on a fractured finger in his right hand, but was straight on the pace at Mugello, lapping almost a second quicker than anybody else.

Terol's quickest lap came in the final minute as he went head-to-head with Johann Zarco for the fastest time. The Spaniard lapped in a 1:58.673 while the Frenchman crashed on his final attempt, ending up 0.864s adrift.

Zarco was backed up by his teammate Efren Vazquez who edged out Sandro Cortese for third. Cortese's championship hopes have taken a blow in recent weeks after failing to capitalise on the problems affecting Terol, but will have been encouraged by the start made here.

No-one will have been happier than Britain's Danny Kent who finished an impressive fifth for Red Bull Ajo Motorsport. The 17 year old produced a late lap 2:00.443 to edge himself in front of the championship's two most recent race winners.

Maverick Vinales gave another demonstration of his undoubted ability at Assen to take pole position and the victory in testing conditions. The Spaniard will hope to continue the momentum here after going sixth in first practice.

Jonas Folger broke his duck in the torrential conditions at Silverstone but couldn't manage his teammate this morning, finishing seventh, 0.214s down on Kent. The young German is the closest challenger to Terol in the championship and goes in to this race 27 points behind.

The two remaining Aspar Aprilias were next up with Hector Faubel and Adrian Martin eighth and ninth, while Alberto Moncayo rounded out the top ten. His Andalucía Banca Civica squad have been boosted by the return of Miguel Oliveira whose impressive rookie season was interrupted by injury, the Portuguese rider was 18th.

The three remaining British riders had differing fortunes with Harry Stafford 26th, Taylor Mackenzie 28th and Danny Webb down in 30th after the Mahindra rider only completed a handful of laps.