Assen MotoGP: Top five for Bradley Smith and Danny Webb in 125GP practice

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Bradley Smith and Danny Webb made a fast start to the Dutch GP in Assen today, the British pair setting the fourth and fifth best times respectively in opening 125GP practice.

In sunny but windy conditions at the iconic Assen circuit, Smith ended fourth quickest with a best time of 1.47.113.

That was marginally quicker than compatriot Webb on the Degraaf Aprilia as the 18-year-old looks to have fully recovered from the right hand injuries that forced him to retire from the Catalunya race earlier this month.

Webb was only 0.164s behind Smith at the end of the 45-minute session, which was dominated by Spanish trio Julian Simon, Sergio Gadea and Nicolas Terol.

Simon claimed top spot with a best lap of 1.46.725, which was 0.200s quicker than Aspar Aprilia team-mate Gadea. Terol was a further 0.118s adrift, with his best time edging Smith down to fourth by just 0.070s.

Smith was only 0.388s away from the fastest time and he goes into Saturday’s 22-lap race trailing Aspar Aprilia team-mate Simon by just 1.5-points. It was a tough opening day for Blusens Aprilia rider Scott Redding.

The Gloucestershire rider had to settle for a lowly 20th position with a best time of 1.49.180 that left him close to 2.5s off the leading pace.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt