A tale of two rookies: 'Diggia' and Bulega lead the way at Brno 1Italian duo head veteran Nagashima on Friday, with all three within 0.063.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) was quickest on Day 1 at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, although the number 21 only 0.035 ahead of Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) by the end of play. The two rookies impressed to take to the top at the track that saw ‘Diggia’ take his first Grand Prix win in Moto3™ last season, with another impressive performance completing the top three but this from veteran Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team). The Japanese rider was fastest in FP1 and ended the day within 0.063 of the top.
The sky looked fairly threatening as the day went on, but nevertheless the vast majority improved their laptimes, not least Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), as the German moved up from P22 to lead for the majority of the session before ultimately ending the day in fourth overall. It was by the tiniest of margins, however, with Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) just 0.001 in arrears as he completed the top five.
Brno 2017 winner Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) ended Friday in sixth, just 0.016 further back, with the man marginally ahead of him in the Championship, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), this time marginally behind him. After a tougher morning session, the number 73 took seventh, 0.061 off…and just 0.010 ahead of Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up). The trend continued for Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) as the Brit ended Friday in ninth by just 0.005.
Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) completes the top ten and beat Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder to the honour, with new Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 rider Mattia Pasini down in P12 with his FP1 time. The Italian suffered a sizeable crash in FP2. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) was 13th, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) completing the fastest 14 and the provisional graduates to Q2. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was the first to lose out and the Australian will be keen to see the rain hold off in that all-important FP3 session on Saturday morning.
Steven Odendaal (NTS RW Racing GP) crashed twice in FP2, and in other news, Dimas Ekky Pratama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) will sit out the rest of the weekend as he continues to recover from his crash at Assen.
Khairul Idham Pawi will also miss the remainder of the weekend. The Malaysian made his return to the intermediate class on Friday in Brno after several months on the sidelines, but will ultimately not ride in the Czech GP. Jonas Folger will step into the Petronas Sprinta Racing squad as his replacement once again.
Will the skies stay dry for the third session of the weekend? FP3 goes green at 10:55 local time (GMT+2) before qualifying from 15:05.
Friday’s fastest:
1 – Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA – Speed Up) 2’01.695
2 – Nicolo Bulega (ITA- Kalex) +0.035
3 – Tetsuta Nagashima (JPN – Kalex) +0.063
4 – Marcel Schrötter (GER – Kalex) +0.190
5 – Augusto Fernandez (SPA – Kalex) +0.191

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