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Monaco GP2: Jolyon Palmer sets the pace in free practice for DAMS

Jolyon Palmer

Points leader Jolyon Palmer set the fastest time in GP2 free practice in Monaco on Thursday morning.

After a brief rain shower, the track was dry for the 45-minute session. As ever in Monaco, finding a clear lap was the order of the day, but it was not until the end of the session, with dark clouds looming, that drivers tried the much quicker super-soft tyre.

Palmer rattled off his 1m20.707s lap after a red flag, caused when former Carlin team-mate Felipe Nasr crashed at the Nouvelle Chicane.

Trident's Johnny Cecotto Jr proved he will be gunning for pole for the second year in succession, however, with his 1m21.043s best set on his second lap on the softer tyre due to being held up on his first flyer.

Palmer's DAMS team-mate Stephane Richelmi was third quickest, 0.866s off the Briton's mark, with the first of the soft-tyre runners, last year's winner Stefano Coletti of Racing Engineering, ending the session in fourth.

Russian Time's Mitch Evans was fifth fastest despite hitting Andre Negrao - returning to Arden after a back injury kept him out at Barcelona - on the exit of Rascasse.

Nasr had been second fastest when he went off on his first flying lap on supersofts. He ploughed into the tyre wall at Nouvelle Chicane after outbraking himself and getting launched by a kerb. He had clipped the wall exiting Portier just moments earlier.

He fell to eighth in the times, behind Sergio Canamasas in sixth and Rio Haryanto.

Nathanael Berthon was the first car to crash out, going straight on into the barriers at Anthony Noghes at the end of his out-lap.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Jolyon Palmer        DAMS                1m20.707s
 2.  Johnny Cecotto Jr    Trident             1m21.043s  +0.336s
 3.  Stephane Richelmi    DAMS                1m21.573s  +0.866s
 4.  Stefano Coletti      Racing Engineering  1m21.902s  +1.195s
 5.  Mitch Evans          Russian Time        1m21.929s  +1.222s
 6.  Sergio Canamasas     Trident             1m21.933s  +1.226s
 7.  Rio Haryanto         Caterham            1m21.935s  +1.228s
 8.  Felipe Nasr          Carlin              1m21.949s  +1.242s
 9.  Julian Leal          Carlin              1m22.132s  +1.425s
10.  Alexander Rossi      Caterham            1m22.183s  +1.476s
11.  Simon Trummer        Rapax               1m22.237s  +1.530s
12.  Daniel Abt           Hilmer              1m22.296s  +1.589s
13.  Rene Binder          Arden               1m22.386s  +1.679s
14.  Stoffel Vandoorne    ART                 1m22.442s  +1.735s
15.  Raffaele Marciello   Racing Engineering  1m22.937s  +2.230s
16.  Andre Negrao         Arden               1m23.028s  +2.321s
17.  Kimiya Sato          Campos              1m23.353s  +2.646s
18.  Arthur Pic           Campos              1m23.453s  +2.746s
19.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Rapax               1m23.545s  +2.838s
20.  Daniel de Jong       MP                  1m23.605s  +2.898s
21.  Facu Regalia         Hilmer              1m23.821s  +3.114s
22.  Tio Ellinas          MP                  1m24.126s  +3.419s
23.  Takuya Izawa         ART                 1m24.201s  +3.494s
24.  Conor Daly           Lazarus             1m25.356s  +4.649s
25.  Artem Markelov       Russian Time        1m25.694s  +4.987s
26.  Nathanael Berthon    Lazarus
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