Terol back with frontrunners at Mugello
MotoGP World Championship action resumed under the Tuscan sunshine today as the first free practice sessions for the Italian Grand Prix got underway at Mugello. With a host of local wildcards boosting the entry list, the 125cc class were first onto the track, with Nico Terol and Pol Espargaró engaged in a two-way Spanish battle for supremacy, although still some way off the pole record time of 1.58.134 set by Bradley Smith since last year.
Smith was on the trail of Bancaja Aspar team-mate Terol today, lapping third fastest after challenging at the top of the timesheets throughout the session. Like Nico, the Brit clocked his best time on his penultimate lap of 23 and looks set to at least challenge for a repeat of his pole feat from 12 months ago. The Spaniard, who clocked the highest top speed of the session (236,4 km/h), was only denied top spot by Espargaró on the final lap.
2nd Nico Terol 1.59.431 (23 laps): “Mugello is a lovely track but it is tough to ride, with so many bumps and also corners that run into each other. The harder you push, the slower you go – you just have to keep it really smooth. I felt good out there today despite the heat and I was happy with my pace. The Aprilia is working really well and we’re just doing the same thing as since preseason, which is basically to make as few changes as possible. Pol and I set the pace from the start today and even though the other guys are some way off at the moment I’m sure it will be closer tomorrow – especially because Smith, Márquez and Vázquez are on form and with such a long straight here the 125cc lap times tend to be quite similar. I’m happy with how we’ve started but we’ll keep working tomorrow to make sure I can give 100% on Sunday and, if possible, take the win.”