Terol dominates opening practice in Qatar

The 2011 season got under way beneath the Qatari lights with Nico Terol dominating opening practice in the 125cc class.

Conditions were far from ideal with the track still needing to be swept clean of desert dust and riders also forced to contend with a strong headwind into the first corner. As a result the times were considerably slower than comparable times from last season but it was still clear that Terol is ready for the season ahead.

The Spaniard starts the year as title favourite and even in the far from ideal conditions he underlined his early season status by lapping the Losail circuit just under one second faster than his nearest challenger, Jonas Folger. The German will be pleased with his opening session after setting a series of fast lap times during his final stint.

As has been the case in the past at Losail there were large time gaps between the leading riders with Sandro Cortese three tenths adrift of Folger with Luis Salom, Efren Vazquez and Johan Zarco in close company.

Former 125cc vice champion Hector Faubel ended the session seventh ahead of Sergio Gadea, Miguel Oliveira and Alberto Moncayo. Englishman Danny Kent was an impressive twelfth in his first race as a full time Grand Prix rider with Maverick Vinales also impresses on his debut weekend.

Vinales raced in the Spanish championship last season and has a weight of expectation on his shoulders that far exceeds his experience. He was exceptionally impressive last year and should be one of the young riders to watch throughout 2011. His session though was far from perfect due to a crash midway through the 40 minute long session. Coming out of the double apex right hander Vinales ran slightly wide and touched the kerb, losing control and becoming the opening crasher of 2011.

Danny Webb had an encouraging session aboard the gorgeous Mahindra and the Englishman finished in 16th position over two seconds faster than his teammate, Marcel Schrotter.

For full results from this session click here

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