Jerez MotoGP: Top ten start for British 125 duo

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Bradley Smith and Danny Webb both ended first practice for Sunday’s Spanish 125GP in Jerez in the top ten.

It wasn’t the speedy recovery Aspar Aprilia rider Smith might have been hoping for as his bid for a second successive victory in Jerez started with the British rider ending in seventh position this afternoon.

Desperate to bounce back from a disappointing first race in Qatar earlier this month when the 19-year-old was only eighth, Smith clocked a best time of 1.49.270 in the hour-long session.

That left him a long way off the pace of home favourite Pol Espargaro, who was in blistering form at the start of the second round of the 2010 campaign.

Smith’s time was a massive 1.943s adrift of Espargaro, who raged a Spanish duel against Marc Marquez and Efren Vazquez throughout the session.

Kent rider Webb recovered from a slow speed crash at the second corner with just over 20 minutes remaining to finish tenth quickest with a best lap of 1.49.615.

That looked like being good enough to edge out Smith at one stage but Webb’s best lap was 2.288s away from Espargaro.

Espargaro, who finished fourth in the season’s opening race in Qatar, took the opening spoils from fellow Spaniard Marquez with a best lap of 1.47.327 in the dying moments of a session run in bright but breezy conditions.

Marquez was 0.121s behind in second with Vazquez third with a best lap of 1.47.574. That left Vazquez 0.247s away from Espargaro’s best time as the Spanish trio ran riot in front of a decent Friday home crowd.

German Sandro Cortese was in fourth spot but way behind the top three as a best lap of 1.48.418 left him over a second behind Espargaro.

Qatar winner and current world championship leader Nicolas Terol was fifth fastest with a best lap of 1.48.592 that left him 1.265s off the pace.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt