Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) set a new fastest-ever lap of Silverstone Circuit on Friday at the GoPro British Grand Prix, putting in 2:12.008 in FP1 and remaining unassailable come the end of FP2. The Italian’s half a second advantage was halved in the afternoon, however, thanks to Sama Qatar Angel Nieto’s Albert Arena as the Spaniard went quickest in FP2. Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) was third quickest, just 0.028 off Arenas.
Sunny skies at Silverstone saw everyone able to stretch their legs, and most riders improved in the afternoon. Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) was one of those who took the biggest leap forward, with the South African ending the day fourth overall as he cut more than two and a half seconds off his laptime. Tatsukia Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) also made big gains and completed the top five, just ahead of title contender Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team).
Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) was the second rider in the top ten, alongside Arbolino, who didn’t improve in the afternoon but he ends Day 1 in seventh, just 0.007 ahead of Austria winner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers).
Replacement rider Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) impressed to end Friday in ninth, 0.014 off Fenati, with Stefano Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) another impressive performer on Day 1 as he took tenth.
Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing), and Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) were next up, ahead of home hero John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), who also renewed his contract on Friday. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) locked out the fastest fifteen.
McPhee and Kornfeil both crashed in the morning, and there was an incident that saw Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) hit Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) in FP1. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) and Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) also went down in the afternoon.
FP3 gets in gear at 9:00 local time (GMT +2) on Saturday to decide the direct entrants to Q2. Can the lap record get beaten again even before qualifying 12:35 (GMT +1)?
1 – Tony Arbolino (ITA – Honda) 2’12.008
2 – Albert Arenas (SPA – KTM) +0.216
3 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) +0.244
4 – Darryn Binder (RSA – KTM) +0.279
5 – Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN – Honda) +0.407
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