British rider Kev Coghlan made an impressive start at the new Motorland Aragon track this morning after he set the fourth quickest time in opening Moto2 practice.
The 22-year-old has a wild card slot in this weekend’s race and used his previous experience of the impressive new circuit to full advantage.
Coghlan won a round of the Spanish Moto2 series at the Motorland Aragon track earlier this season and just over 30 minutes remained when he topped the timesheets with a time of 1.57.621. That put him 0.368s ahead of early pacesetter Simone Corsi and he eventually ended the session with a best time of 1.56.638. That left the reigning European and Spanish Supersport champion in fourth and just 0.415s behind Andrea Iannone in top spot.
Coghlan, who finished 22nd in the British Moto2 race at Silverstone back in June, was able to finish 0.066s clear of runaway world championship leader Toni Elias.
The Spaniard clocked a best time of 1.56.704 to finish in fifth place as he looks to build on his commanding series advantage of 83-points in Sunday’s 21-lap race.
Julian Simon, who has finished in the last two races in Indianapolis and Misano, was second again this morning with a fastest lap of 1.56.284 leaving him just 0.061s behind Iannone.
Claudio Corti was third fastest with a best lap of 1.56.423 that put him 0.215s clear of Scottish rider Coghlan.
British rider Scott Redding ended the session in a creditable 11th place with a best time of 1.57.213 putting him just 0.100s away from the top ten.
Redding was back in action less than two weeks after he was involved in the sickening three-rider incident in Misano earlier this month that left Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa with fatal injuries.
Alex de Angelis, who was the other rider involved in the Tomizawa incident, finished 23rd fastest this morning with a best time of 1.57.972.
Several riders this morning, including Redding, carried some form of tribute to 19-year-old Tomizawa.
Redding had a Tomizawa sticker on the front of his Marc VDS Racing machine while Elias carried his number 48 on top of his helmet. Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi is wearing a black armband in memory of his compatriot, who created history in the season’s opening race in Qatar when he won the first ever Moto2 race.
He was killed when he fell out of the leading group in Misano on September 5. Unable to take evasive action, Redding and de Angelis both struck Tomizawa and he died as a result of head, chest and abdominal injuries.
Practice and qualifying has reverted back to four sessions for this weekend. Friday morning practice was scrapped for 2009.