Friday at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix belonged to Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in the Moto2™ class, as the 2014 Moto3™ Champion topped both FP1 and FP2. The Spaniard managed to best Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) at the end of FP2 by 0.030 after setting a 2:06.928 on his final lap so it was close but he kept the top spot, with Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) third – 0.161 back. He was just ahead of teammate and Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia and the two did a good few laps together on track, perfecting their teamwork…
The track conditions were tricky for the opening minutes of the second session but with the rain clouds clearing, the Moto2™ field were able to get a good dry stint on Friday afternoon. At the end of play, Marquez and Quartararo were the only two riders to venture into the 2:06s, the latter improving from a P13 finish in the morning, but it was Bagnaia who had the advantage in terms of the title fight – with sole rival Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) a little further back in eighth.
Between the two, it was Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) who completed the top five on Friday and the Italian led FP2 by over a second at the one point after ending FP1 in P2. Then the first of the KTMs on the timesheets was Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) in P6, as he just got the better of Oliveira.
Behind the Portuguese rider, Pons HP40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri completes Friday in P8, with Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) kicking off his weekend with a solid P9 on the combined times – the Australian consolidating a top ten place after ending FP1 in P7. Australian GP winner Brad Binder rounded out the top ten on board his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine, moving up the timesheets after a tougher FP1.
Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) had a late crash at Turn 15 in the afternoon – rider ok.
It’s tight at the top in the intermediate class with Saturday and qualifying now on the agenda. FP3 is first though, so tune into that at 09:55 local time (GMT +8) before qualifying at 13:30.
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