Moto2It’s close in Styria, with Bezzecchi leading Fernandez leading Gardner and the three covered by less than a tenth and a half

Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) rules the Day 1 roost at the Michelin® Grand Prix of Styria, the Italian returning to the scene of his first Moto2™ win and edging out Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) by less than a tenth. Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top three on Friday, with rookie teammate and closest challenger Raul Fernandez down in P9.

Bezzecchi was fastest out the blocks in the morning, the Italian enjoying a gap of nearly two and a half tenths back to Augusto Fernandez for much of the session. In the last few minutes the Spaniard hit back, but Bezzecchi had more in his pocket and the Italian went back to the top with his final lap of the session, 0.080 ahead. Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) shot up into third late on, with Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) ending FP1 in an impressive fourth place.

Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completed the top five despite earlier having a lap cancelled, with Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) slotting into sixth as the fastest rookie.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s powerhouse pairing of Championship leader Gardner and Raul Fernandez ended the morning in P7 and P8 respectively, split by just four thousandths. Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP 40) and Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) completed the top ten.

Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) crashed at Turn 4, and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) at Turn 3, riders ok.

The rain may have put paid to improvements in MotoGP™, but by the end of play for the intermediate class, some of the times were tumbling. Gardner topped the session ahead of Lowes, with Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) in third despite not feeling on full power. Augusto Fernandez was fourth, with Dalla Porta impressing again to complete the top five.

Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) had a noteworthy afternoon session, the Italian rookie taking P6.

There were a good few incidents in Moto2™ FP2. The first was for Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) at Turn 4, before Jorge Navarro at Turn 9. Bezzecchi then at Turn 1, before Canet at Turn 9. Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) then at Turn 1, before Hafizh Syahrin (NTS RW Racing GP) at Turn 9. Beaubier then had a technical issue too.

Combined timesheets
The combined timesheets are a good mix of both sessions, with Bezzecchi and Augusto Fernandez taking a 1-2. Then come FP2’s fastest men as Gardner takes third ahead of Lowes, with Canet’s FP1 time slotting him into fifth.

Lüthi takes sixth ahead of Dalla Porta, the Italian’s best lap set in FP1, with Ogura in P8 as the fastest rookie – denying Championship challenger Raul Fernandez that honour by just 0.020. Vietti completes the rookie run in the top ten in P10.

Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Manzi, rookie Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and his teammate Marcel Schrötter are the final riders currently within the Q2 zone, although FP3 could easily switch it up again. Who will head through? FP3 starts at 10:55 (GMT+2), before qualifying from 15:10!

Moto2™ Friday top five:
1 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – 1:29.115
2 Augusto Fernandez – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.080
3 Remy Gardner – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.129
4 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.236
5 Aron Canet – Aspar Team – Boscoscuro – +0.248

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