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
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|