Assen MotoGP: Bradley Smith fourth in 125GP practice

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Bradley Smith made a decent start to the famous Dutch TT at Assen today, the British rider clocking the fourth quickest time in opening 125GP practice.

The Oxfordshire rider, who scored his first podium of the 2010 campaign just four days ago in his home race at Silverstone, posted a best time of 1.44.037 to finish less than a second away from Aspar Aprilia team-mate Nicolas Terol.

Smith, who was third in the Dutch 125GP race last year, ended the session 0.829s behind Terol but was only 0.353s adrift of world championship leader Pol Espargaro in third position.

A best lap of 1.43.208 gave Terol top spot as he looks to win for the first time since the opening race of the season in Qatar.

Terol, who missed the podium for the first time this season at Silverstone last weekend, beat form rider Marc Marquez by just 0.195s.

Marquez is currently enjoying a brilliant purple patch having won in Mugello and Silverstone to revitalise his world title hopes.

He is now only 17-points adrift of Espargaro in a championship battle so far dominated by the strong Spanish contingent.

He took second with a best lap of 1.43.403 to beat Espargaro by 0.281s.
British rider Danny Webb had to settle for ninth place on the timesheets after a promising opening session.

The Kent rider clocked a best time of 1.45.201 to finish in ninth place and 1.993s slower than Terol at the iconic Assen circuit.

He had been as high sixth at one stage and was right behind Smith on the leaderboard before he lost places in a typically frenetic finish.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt