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Moto3: Folger sweeps Sepang practice

19 October 2012

Jonas Folger set the pace during both Friday free practice sessions at Sepang in Malaysia, the second of which was effectively abandoned due to rain with ten minutes to go.

Sandro Cortese's chances of wrapping up the title this weekend received a shock boost this morning when Maverick Vinales, second in the championship but already 56 points behind Cortese, announced that he will miss the remainder of the season after walking out of the Avintia Blusens team.

That means Cortese is effectively racing third in the standings Luis Salom for the title. Salom starts this weekend 61-points behind the German, whom Salom will replace in 2013 when Cortese moves to Moto2.

Salom will serve a five place grid penalty on Sunday for causing a last lap clash with leader Jonas Folger in Motegi. Cortese will be champion if he finishes Sunday's race with a lead of at least 51-points.

Rumours suggest Vinales could be planning to join Salom in next year's factory Ajo KTM line-up, or move to the Aspar Kalex KTM squad alongside Folger. Cortese's team-mate and last weekend's debut winner Danny Kent has also signed to move to Moto2 next year.

On track and Folger swept both sessions with an advantage of 1.143s over Jakub Kornfeil (FTR Honda) in the first and then a slimmer 0.241s lead over Cortese in the second.

Local star Zulfahmi Khairuddin was ranked third in both outings for Air Asia Ajo KTM, underlining his debut podium potential this weekend.

Young Italian Alessandro Tonucci, who took his first grand prix rostrum last Sunday, was fourth this afternoon, while Miguel Oliveira clashed with Salom on his way to fifth.

Louis Rossi, Romano Fenati, Salom, Alex Rins and Kent completed the afternoon top ten. Kornfeil was the first rider not to improve in FP2.

The weather conditions are sure to complicate the second MotoGP session...

Friday practice (2):

1. Jonas Folger GER (Kalex KTM) 2m 15.038s
2. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 2m 15.279s
3. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 2m 15.340s
4. Miguel Oliveira POR (Suter Honda) 2m 16.024s
5. Alessandro Tonucci ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 16.082s
6. Louis Rossi FRA (FTR Honda) 2m 16.159s
7. Romano Fenati ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 16.231s
8. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 2m 16.273s
9. Alex Rins SPA (Suter Honda) 2m 16.421s
10. Danny Kent GBR (KTM) 2m 16.691s
11. Brad Binder RSA (Kalex KTM) 2m 16.873s
12. Alex Marquez SPA (Suter Honda) 2m 16.958s
13. Efren Vazquez SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 17.139s
14. Jakub Kornfeil CZE (FTR Honda) 2m 17.244s
15. Adrian Martin SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 17.410s
16. Niklas Ajo FIN (KTM) 2m 17.436s
17. Jack Miller AUS (Honda) 2m 17.558s
18. Alberto Moncayo SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 17.771s
19. Arthur Sissis AUS (KTM) 2m 17.786s
20. Alan Techer FRA (TSR Honda) 2m 17.854s
21. Isaac Viñales SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 17.959s
22. Josep Rodriguez SPA (FGR Honda) 2m 18.056s
23. Danny Webb GBR (Mahindra) 2m 18.069s
24. Toni Finsterbusch GER (Honda) 2m 18.274s
25. John Mcphee GBR (KRP Honda) 2m 18.303s
26. Giulian Pedone SWI (Suter Honda) 2m 18.646s
27. Luca Amato GER (Kalex KTM) 2m 18.687s
28. Niccolò Antonelli ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 19.133s
29. Kenta Fujii JPN (TSR Honda) 2m 19.254s
30. Armando Pontone ITA (Ioda) 2m 19.323s
Riccardo Moretti ITA (Mahindra) No Time
Maverick Viñales SPA (FTR Honda) No Time


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