iSport's Sam Bird was quickest as the GP2 Asia field got up to speed at Imola with two practice sessions on Friday morning.
An additional half hour of running was provided for the GP2 teams' return to the former San Marino Grand Prix venue for the first time since 2006, Imola having stepped in when the political turmoil in Bahrain led to the cancellation of both the planned Sakhir events. Times tumbled throughout the morning as both track conditions and drivers' circuit familiarity improved, with Bird ending up on a 1m28.312sec.
Addax driver Giedo van der Garde had been quickest ahead of Carlin's Mikhail Aleshin in the first of the two sessions and was second to Bird in the second, 0.2sec slower. Fabio Leimer took third for Rapax in both sessions.
Championship leader Jules Bianchi (ART) was only 14th and 20th in the two sessions, but still fared better than his nearest points rivals, as incidents for both DAMS' Romain Grosjean and iSport's Marcus Ericsson in first practice sidelined them for session two while their cars were repaired. ART's Esteban Gutierrez also crashed right at the end of the second session.