Alex de Angelis has laid down the marker for others to follow during Moto2 free practice at Mugello, the former MotoGP rider comfortably faster than his rivals.
Yet to score a point this season, de Angelis arrives in Italy desperate to give his ailing campaign a boost and two years on from finishing fourth on his Mugello MotoGP debut, the Sammarinese was again in sparkling form.
Hitting the front at the half-way point, de Angelis commanded an advantage of more than a second until the closing stages when his rivals eventually got his lead down to a more respectable 0.2secs.
Sergio Gadea led the charge in second position, ahead of Julian Simon, although the latter Spaniard could have been closer to de Angelis – if not faster – had he not been baulked by Toni Elias on his final revolution.
Fresh from his fourth place finish at Le Mans, Andrea Iannone was similarly fast at Mugello, ahead of Stefan Bradl and Jules Cluzel, while Japanese pair Yuki Takahashi and Shoya Tomizawa followed in seventh and eighth.
Elsewhere, series leader Elias could only manage 11th, while Simone Corsi – currently third in the standings – was an unspectacular 16th.
Friday practice – Mugello
1. de Angelis (Force GP2) 1m 56.422s
2. Gadea (Pons Kalex) +0.217s
3. Simon (Suter) +0.293
4. Iannone (Speed Up) +0.451
5. Bradl (Suter) +0.744
6. Cluzel (Suter) +0.767
7. Takahashi (Tech 3) +0.842
8. Tomizawa (Suter) +0.854
9. Di Meglio (Suter) +0.905
10. Talmacsi (Speed Up) +0.918
18. Redding (Suter) +1.366s