The top two in the Championship prove the fastest duo on a mixed Day 1 – but in reverse order.
Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) left it late but turned the tables on Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by the end of play on Day 1 in Valencia, the ‘Beast’ denying key rival and Championship leader Lowes by just 0.057. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) was third fastest, the American making his presence felt at the top in the afternoon. Wet in the morning and dry – ish – in the afternoon, laptimes tumbled but remained far from those set in ideal conditions.
Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) went fastest in FP1, the Swiss veteran the only rider to dip beneath the 1:49 barrier. His timesheet-topping 1:48.975 a whole 14 seconds slower than the intermediate class lap record around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo to prove conditions were most definitely wet.
Rookie Hector Garzo (FlexBox HP40) put in a strong showing to sit just a tenth adrift, with fellow Moto2™ debutant Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) three tenths adrift of his compatriot in third. Canet’s teammate Hafizh Syahrin topped the timesheets during the early stages before suffering a highside out of the final corner, the Malaysian declared fit to continue and ending the session fourth.
Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) and man of the moment Sam Lowes sat fifth and sixth respectively, with Federal Oil Gresini’s Nicolo Bulega less than a tenth back on both men in seventh. Bastianini had a close call during the session, making an impressive save at Turn 14, and ended the session eighth. Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) rounded out the top 10.
Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) also crashed in FP1, as did Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia).
After a wet FP1, no rain fell in the afternoon and it allowed the intermediate class to get some valuable dry running in, although damp patches remained. In the opening exchanges, Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) – who didn’t venture out in FP1 – crashed at Turn 4. Unfortunately for the in-form British rider, it was confirmed later that he had fractured his right wrist.
Lowes was over a second quicker than anyone in the early stages of FP1, before Roberts then chopped the gap down to six tenths as Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) slotted into P3. Lowes’ session wasn’t all plain sailing though as the number 22 crashed at Turn 8 to put a slight dampener on his afternoon. By the end of the session, his substantial lead was cut significantly too – and beaten by Bastianini. Roberts completes the top three in FP2 and overall, as the combined timesheets were the same for the top 28.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) went well in the dry conditions to claim a top five, with Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) slotting into sixth as the Australian beat Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by just 0.001. Corsi, Garzo and Bezzecchi round out the top 10 on Friday, with Lüthi, Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Bulega and Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) currently set to join them in Q2.
Third in the standings, Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) is the man currently on course to miss the cut, finishing P15 and looking for more on Saturday. Moto2™ head back out for FP3 at 11:55 (GMT +1), before qualifying from 15:50.
Moto2™: the five fastest on Friday
1 Enea Bastianini – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex – 1:36.804
2 Sam Lowes – EG 0,0 Marc VDS – Kalex – +0.057
3 Joe Roberts – Tennor American Racing – Kalex – +0.152
4 Lorenzo Baldassarri – Flexbox HP 40 – Kalex – +0.161
5 Fabio Di Giannantonio – HDR Heidrun Speed Up – Speed Up – +0.262
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