The 2012 Moto2™ season kicked off with Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock) fastest in the first practice session of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar on Thursday, as the Swiss rider put his Suter top of the timesheet in FP1 with a time of 2'01.284.
Pons 40 HP Tuenti team-mates Esteve Rabat and Pol Espargaró both recorded top-three lap times with efforts of 2'01.686 and 2'01.925 respectively as they placed their Kalex machines in second and third position, with last year's Championship runner-up Marc Márquez (Team Catalunyacaixa Repsol) fourth and timing in at 2'02.068.
Italian riders Simone Corsi (Came Iodaracing Project) and Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) were the final two within a full second of Lüthi's marker, with Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team), Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team), Mike di Meglio (S/Master Speed Up) and Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team) completing the top ten.
British rider Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) was 11th in the order at 1.343s from the top, with 2010 Moto2 World Champion Toni Elías (Mapfre Aspar Team) in 19th as he began his reintroduction to the category. Third Brit on the grid rookie Gino Rea (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was 23rd in his first practice session.
There was a crash at the end of the session for Marco Colandrea (SAG Team), who walked away from his fall.
The Moto2 riders return to the track later on Thursday for a second practice session.
source: MotoGP Official