Aegerter Leads Dramatic Moto2 Opener In Malaysia

Dominique Aegerter - Photo Credit:
Dominique Aegerter - Photo Credit:


Dominique Aegerter topped the timesheets in first practice for the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix but for the second week running, the Friday morning headlines had been made for the wrong reasons as a number of riders crashed early on.

The cloudy skies appeared to be depositing spots of rain at turn ten and Jules Cluzel was the first to go down. No sooner had the Frenchman made it to his feet, Marc Marquez's Suter cartwheeled towards him with the Spaniard suffering a highside seconds later.

The title contender appeared badly injured as he laid in the gravel trap but Bradley Smith's Tech 3 Mistral soon slid off too, fortunately missing the Spaniard who eventually made it to his feet before gingerly walking away. Smith also left on his feet but had to be helped by a number of marshals and appeared in clear discomfort.

To prevent any further crashes, the race directors called a halt to the session while the track conditions were inspected and after a five minute delay, the pitlane re-opened.

Once the action restarted, Aegerter dominated and held a 1.5 second lead over the rest of the field at one point, the Swiss rider clearly feeling more comfortable than anybody else in first practice. But with time ticking away, the gap started to close and Thomas Luthi came within a blink of an eye of beating him, getting to within 0.001s on his final lap.

The Swiss pair finished first and second with Australian GP winner Alex de Angelis in third. Andrea Iannone had a spell at the top of the leaderboard before slipping to fourth while Mika Kallio jumped up to fifth in the last minute.

Pol Espargaro was sixth quickest ahead of championship leader Stefan Bradl who stayed well out of trouble amid the chaos. Scott Redding was eighth while Yuki Takahashi and Kenan Sofuoglu rounded out the top ten.