The Brit ends Day 1 three tenths clear of Fernandez and Canet.
Jake Dixon is in the box seat to get through to Q2 at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley after the Inde GASGAS Aspar Team rider was fastest on the opening day of action in Moto2™. While he was unable to improve in FP2 on his 1:51.966 from earlier on Friday at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, the mercury was climbing well into the 30s, and few riders did go quicker in the afternoon. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was second quickest, with Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) completing the top three, also from FP1.
Dixon reigned the morning session, and the Brit enjoyed those three tenths in hand to bounce back from a tough end to the French GP. Fernandez was his closest company followed by Canet, and Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was next up in fourth as the rookie’s leap forward in Le Mans seems to have carried forward. Filip Salač (Gresini Racing Moto2™) also impressed as he took fifth to open his weekend on the right foot.
Sean Dylan Kelly (American Racing) had an early spill when he ran through the gravel at Casanova and while there was a nervous moment with his bike stopped in the middle of the track, the American was able to scamper away. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) also went down in the latter stages at Arrabbiata 2, and went to the Medical Centre for a check up, declared fit.
Chantra had an FP1 to forget thanks to that crash and was ninth with a 1:52.899, a time which would not have been good enough to get him into the all-important combined top 14. However, the Indonesian GP winner would set the very fastest lap of FP2, a 1:52.350, which puts him fourth overall too. It was close in the session top three though, with Fernandez second within 0.021 and Acosta third only 0.057 off the top.
Provisional Q2 places
The FP1 trio of Dixon, Fernandez and Canet top the combined times, ahead of Chantra, Acosta and Salač. Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team), Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and teammate Tony Arbolino are up next. Completing the top ten overall after a huge leap up the timesheets is Niccolo Antonelli (Monney VR46 Racing Team).
His teammate, World Championship leader Celestino Vietti, is also into Q2 for now in P12, with Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team) and Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) the last set to move through.
Jerez winner and Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider Ai Ogura is one left on the outside looking in, with P17 against his name. Can he move forward in FP3? Will the skies stay dry? We’ll find out at 10:55 before qualifying from 15:10 (GMT +2).
FRIDAY: TOP 3
1 Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) – Kalex – 1’51.966
2 Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – Kalex – +0.316
3 Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) – Kalex – +0.380
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