Scott Redding pulled a scintillating lap out of the bag in the dying seconds to lead the first practice session for the Moto2 Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The British youngster knocked fellow countryman Bradley Smith off the top as the pair made an encouraging start to the weekend.
The session came to a dramatic conclusion as the two British riders fought it out with Marc Marquez for the right to finish the morning on top. Smith hit the front with two minutes remaining, taking the quickest time from Randy Krummenacher but Marquez was lighting up the timing screen behind him.
The Spaniard threw away his chance to finish on top with a crash in the last minute, losing the front end of his Suter under braking for the hairpin at the end of the back straight. Redding capitalised on the opportunity and delivered a lap six tenths quicker than anyone else with Smith holding onto second.
Despite a late fall of his own, Randy Krummenacher edged ahead of Marquez to take third with the title hopeful in fourth. Stefan Bradl, leader of the title chase by 43 points, stayed on his bike but had no answer to the pace of Marquez, finishing down in 16th.
Claudio Corti took a strong fifth ahead of the two Ioda Racing FTRs of Mattia Pasini and Simone Corsi who each took turns in the lead early in the session. Aleix Espargaro was eighth fastest ahead of Ricard Cardus who finished higher than usual in ninth. Esteve Rabat completed the top ten for Blusens-STX.
The most worrying moment was a heavy accident for Kenan Sofuoglu. The Turkish rider lost the back end of his Suter rounding the final corner which flung him over the handlebars, causing him to land heavily. He was promptly taken to the medical centre and it remains to be seen whether he will rejoin in FP2 at 8:10pm UK time.