Phillip Island saw weather take center stage on Friday, with MotoGP™ losing most of FP2 after a red flag stopped the session because of the rain – and it was decided to not restart. Moto2™, set to take to the track after the second session for the premier class, then had their FP2 session cancelled as track action was brought to an early halt.
Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) went quickest in a tough Moto2™ FP1, with continuous rain leaving Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit soaked to the core. With no FP2, the morning session’s times now become those of Day 1, and Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) had an impressive showing in the first and only practice of the day to end up P2 behind Folger, as the 2015 Moto3™ World Champion found a big turn of speed.
Reigning Moto2™ Champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) was third in FP1. Zarco, who had a tough day in the difficult wet conditions on Sunday at the Czech GP, showed no such struggles at Phillip Island and comfortably remained in the top echelons of the order under the rain down under.
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) was fourth fastest as the Misano winner got back up towards the top of the timesheets, with Zarco’s key Championship rival Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP40) in fifth – having won from pole in 2015, more than 6 seconds clear as a rookie and looking to repeat the feat.
Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami ended the session in P6, ahead of aptly named ‘Pescao’ Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia). Jesko Raffin (Sports-Millions-EMWE-SAG), Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) and home hero Remy Gardner (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) completed the top ten.
Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) had a spectacular crash mid-session – rider ok – to leave his EG0,0 Marc VDS machine in several parts in the gravel trap and a big job ahead for the team to rebuild the bike, and Luca Marini (Forward Racing) joined his compatriot in suffering an incident in the tough conditions. Both will be back out tomorrow to wipe the slate clean and avoid repeats.
The start time for Moto2™ FP3 has been adjusted to allow for more track time in the intermediate class, with action now set to begin at 11:10 (GMT +11).