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Moto2: Bradl sets the pace in Sepang practice

Stefan Bradl fastest during Friday practice (2) for the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix at Sepang, Marc Marquez missing, Bradley Smith injured and out.
Moto2 World Championship leader Stefan Bradl took maximum advantage of misfortune for title rival Marc Marquez, by leading Friday practice at Sepang in Malaysia.

Kalex rider Bradl starts the penultimate round having regained the title lead by just three points from star rookie Marquez last Sunday in Australia. But Marquez was missing this afternoon, after suffering a big Friday morning crash for the second week in succession.

At Phillip Island, Marquez collided with Ratthapark Wilairot, resulting in a last place on the grid (penalty) start. This time the Spaniard was not to blame, being one of several riders to fall after marshals failed to warn them of a wet patch of track at the start of FP1.

Marquez suffered a vicious highside moments after Jules Cluzel had slid-off at the same turn. Bradley Smith then also fell, before the session was halted.

Cluzel escaped unhurt, but both Marquez and Smith (Tech 3) missed this afternoon's session. Marquez was resting after landing heavily on his shoulder, while 2011 podium-finisher Smith was taken to hospital and later diagnosed with a broken left collarbone.

Bradl, seventh fastest this morning, took over at the top with 13-minutes of the afternoon session remaining – although the German was only 0.022sec ahead of nearest rival Alexi Espargaro (Pons) at the end of the session.

Dominique Aegerter (Suter), Michel Pirro (Moriwaki), Thomas Luthi (Suter) and last Sunday's winner Alex de Angelis (MotoBI) completed a close top six covered by just 0.152sec.

Triple 2011 race winner Andrea Iannone limped away from an accident with ten minutes to go, while Ricard Cardus suffered an enormous near-vertical highside at turn two at the very end of the session.

Friday practice (2):

1. Bradl (Kalex) 2m 8.484s
2. A. Espargaro (Pons Kalex) +0.022s
3. Aegerter (Suter) +0.108s
4. Pirro (Moriwaki) +0.130s
5. Luthi (Suter) +0.145s
6. de Angelis (MotoBI) +0.152s
7. Corsi (FTR) +0.398s
8. Kallio (Suter) +0.506s
9. Corti (Suter) +0.537s
10. Takahashi (Moriwaki) +0.543s

11. Redding (Suter) +0.574s

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October 21, 2011 9:24 AM
Last Edited 2046 days ago

Shame Smith had to suffer a broken collarbone in that crash. It seems like the curse of Tech 3 riders this year. Very poor marshalling not to wave warning flags for the riders. I hope the 15000 Euro fine for the circuit encourages better safety standards. Especially with such changeable and treacherous weather conditions.

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