Espargaro Sets Stunning Practice Pace At Indy

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Pol Espargaro produced the fastest ever lap of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on a Moto2 machine to outpace Marc Marquez on Friday afternoon. The Pons rider trails Marquez by 34 points but had a full half-second over him today, boosting his hopes of closing the gap this weekend.

Espargaro had already set the pace in the morning session and hit the front in FP2 with half an hour to go. His 1:44.308 was still fractionally slower than the FP1 benchmark though and Marquez would be the first to beat that on a 1:44.143, a lead that would prove rather brief. With two minutes remaining, Espargaro displayed his dominance with a 1:43.649, taking over half a second off the circuit record. To add insult to injury, he chipped another tenth off his best time minutes later.

The afternoon didn’t go totally to plan for the Pons 40 HP team though with Esteve Rabat dropping his Kalex at the final corner midway through the session having got as high as second at one point. He wasn’t the biggest name to go down though with Thomas Luthi losing the front end of his Suter at turn three on his first flying lap. The Swiss rider returned to the track later on though but couldn’t climb higher than thirteenth.

Behind the top two, Claudio Corti was an impressive third ahead of Scott Redding who looks to have continued his strong form from the first half of the season. Reigning 125cc champion Nicolas Terol, who can’t boast as good a record, gave himself a timely lift with fifth place with Dominique Aegerter completing the top six.

After struggling for pace all day, Bradley Smith salvaged seventh with an excellent late effort with Simone Corsi, the aforementioned Rabat and Andrea Iannone rounding out the top ten. Gino Rea will be reasonably satisfied with his Friday form, having gone nineteenth on the Gresini Suter.


Moto2 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix: Combined Friday Practice Classification

Pos Rider Constructor Team Time/Gap
1  Pol Espargaro Kalex Pons 40 HP Tuenti 1:43.575
2  Marc Marquez Suter Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol +0.568
3  Claudio Corti Kalex Italtrans Racing Team +0.894
4  Scott Redding Kalex Marc VDS Racing Team +0.937
5  Nicolas Terol Suter Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 +1.152
6  Dominique Aegerter Suter Technomag-CIP +1.178
7  Bradley Smith Tech 3 Tech 3 Racing +1.197
8  Simone Corsi FTR Came IodaRacing Project +1.249
9  Esteve Rabat Kalex Pons 40 HP Tuenti +1.502
10  Andrea Iannone Speed Up Speed Master +1.529
11  Mika Kallio Kalex Marc VDS Racing Team +1.565
12  Julian Simon Suter Blusens Avintia +1.585
13  Thomas Luthi Suter Interwetten-Paddock +1.629
14  Ricard Cardus AJR Arguiñano Racing Team +1.659
15  Takaaki Nakagami Kalex Italtrans Racing Team +1.669
16  Xavier Simeon Tech 3 Tech 3 Racing +1.848
17  Johann Zarco Motobi JIR Moto2 +1.994
18  Anthony West Speed Up QMMF Racing Team +2.035
19  Gino Rea Suter Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 +2.333
20  Alex De Angelis FTR NGM Mobile Forward Racing +2.391
21  Randy Krummenacher Suter GP Team Switzerland +2.663
22  Mike Di Meglio MZ-RE Honda Cresto Guide MZ Racing +2.678
23  Max Neukirchner Kalex Kiefer Racing +2.883
24  Yuki Takahashi FTR NGM Mobile Forward Racing +2.934
25  Axel Pons Kalex Pons 40 HP Tuenti +3.010
26  Roberto Rolfo Suter Technomag-CIP +3.013
27  Jordi Torres Suter Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 +3.682
28  Marcel Schrotter Bimota Desguaces La Torre SAG +3.883
29  Ratthapark Wilairot Suter Thai Honda Gresini Moto2 +4.194
30  Eric Granado Motobi JIR Moto2 +5.104
31  Alessandro Andreozzi Speed Up S/Master Speed Up +5.873
32  Marco Colandrea FTR SAG Team +5.908
33  Elena Rosell Moriwaki QMMF Racing Team +6.175


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