IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami remains the many to beat after the three free Practice sessions at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain after completing the fastest lap time during FP1 and breaking the Moto2 lap record in the process.In his eighteenth lap of nineteen completed in FP1 Nakagami was able to get around with a time of 1:42.642 which has remained the time to beat so far this weekend and now ever!
Nakagami fastest ever after FP1
During FP1 it was Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) who was was first to break through the 1:44 minute barrier with thirty-seven minutes remaining. It was not long before he was knocked from the top spot as Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team) soon proved fastest board his Kalex.
Dominique Aegerter (CarXpert Interwetten) crashed at turn one with twenty-seven minutes remaining but was unhurt and able to return to the track later. Miguel Oliveira (Leoprd Racing) had to park his bike his Kalex in the gravel midway through the session due to a fault. Axel pons (AGR Team) also had a slow speed crash t turn six; he was just of the racing line when he came to a halt after a short slide, he was able to pick his bike up, restart it and continue on track with seventeen minutes remaining.
Folger still led and Baldassarri looked close to beating his time in the final third of the session. He eventually went top with a time of 1:43.633. In the last five minutes the battle for top space appeared to be between Baldassarri and Nakagami who had now began to complete some flying laps.
The session finished as Nakagami fastest 0.163 seconds faster than Baldassarri after breaking the lap record; the fastest Speed Up bike Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and British rider Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).
Incident filled Practice Session 2 at Jerez
It was a close call for Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) as he had to save his bike from crashing out using his elbow at the start of the second session. Jonas Folger made the best attempt to beat Nakagami’s record breaking pace but fell in the process at turn six whilst attempting to do so.
Simone Corsi crashed at turn six during FP2, three riders fell at turn two including Julian Simon (QMMF Racing Team), Aegerter and Xavier Vierge (Tech 3 Racing). Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) also crashed at turn ten. Luckily all of the riders involved in these incident sin the second practice session were able to walk away unhurt.
It was Folger who was fastest during session two with a time of 1:42.667 but not overall as his time was just 0.025 seconds slower than Nakagami’s record breaking time. Lowes was second fastest ahead of Luthi, Simeon (the fastest Speed Up) and 2015 Moto Champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport). Baldassarri dropped down to sixth and Nakagami could not improve on seventh fastest at the end of the second session.
Nakagami still fastest overall despite Baldassarri leading session 3
By the end of the third practice session it was Baldassarri who clocked the fast time of 1.42.673; his time was still just 0.031 seconds slower than that of Nakagami, and just 0.006 seconds slower than Folger and so his time left him third fastest overall.
Lowes finished second fastest at the end of session three ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) who climbed to third fastest during this session. Folger finished fourth fastest ahead of Luthi and 2015 Moto3 Champion Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) who progressed up to the Moto2 class with his expanding team after his success last season.
Corsi remained the fastest Speed up bike behind Nakagami and ahead of Cortese and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) at the end of the session. The fastest Tech 3 was Vierge and the only Suter rider Efren Vazquez will not be racing this round due to injuries sustained in his off during qualifying ahead of the third round at the Circuit of the Americas.
More incidents in the final practice session
The session also had its share of incidents. Edgar Pons (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) has returned from his illness this round but crashed in the final practice session with half an hour remaining. He had to be escorted to the side of the track after crashing at turn three following a high side.
With twenty-three minutes remaining Lowes crashed out of turn six after losing the front end. He was running on the soft compound front which appeared to lose grip. At the time of his crash his ws currently lapping 0.4s seconds faster than his personal best time through the second sector
Record holder Nakagami crashed out at turn one with a third of the final session remaining; he appeared to holding his right hand but was able to get up and walk way, he could not return to the session but his time was still fastest overall. In the closing stages Pasini crash again this time at turn twelve. Both the bike and the rider tumbled through the gravel trap causing a lot of damage to the bike and significant damage to the helmet of Pasini. He was luckily able to walk away from the incident though.