Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) topped the timesheets in both FP1 and FP2 to prove the man to beat so far at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with home hero Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) next up on the overall timesheets. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) completed the top three to impress as he comes back from injury, with the trio all setting their best laptimes in the morning.
On a late summer scorcher at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the top three may not have improved in the afternoon, but plenty did despite the heat. Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee in fourth was the first whose laptime on the combined timesheets came from FP2, but the Brit ended the day just ahead of another whose FP1 time proved his quickest: Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers). From there, however, the rest of the top ten all found time in the afternoon.
Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) found nearly half a second to take sixth, just 0.012 ahead of veteran home campaigner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers), a former winner at Misano. Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) was P8 just behind his compatriot, although the quieter day for the Leopard rider still saw him beat key rival Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) as the Spaniard was P11 overall and suffered a late crash.
Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) crashed twice on Friday, Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) took a tumble and Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed in FP. The Turk was declared unfit due to a broken collarbone, so he’ll sit out the rest of the weekend – and will be replaced by twin brother Deniz, who rides for the team in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship.
Meanwhile Andrea Migno (WWR) had a solid opening day at his home Grand Prix to take ninth and make the top ten 50% Italian on the Riviera di Rimini, with rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) next up after another impressive day at the office. Behind Canet in P11, Jaume Masia (WWR), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox Prüstel GP) complete the fastest fourteen on Friday and those who currently stand to move through to Q2 – but everything could change in FP3 on Saturday morning.
That gets in gear at 9:00 local time (GMT +2) to decide the direct entrants to Q2. Will the pack have another shake up before qualifying from 12:35 (GMT +2)?
1 – Albert Arenas (SPA – KTM) 1’42.824
2 – Niccolo Antonelli (ITA – Honda) +0.121
3 – Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG – Honda) +0.166
4 – John McPhee (GBR – Honda) +0.228
5 – Tony Arbolino (ITA – Honda) +0.235