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Fernandez Demolishes The Field On FridayThe number 37 finishes Day 1 nearly a half a second clear of Acosta and Aldeguer.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez is the rider to beat after topping both Moto2™ Free Practice sessions on the opening day of the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, and both by big margins. He raised the bar and ended FP2 nearly half a second clear, with teammate Pedro Acosta next-best and Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) making it an all-Spanish top three. Meanwhile, World Championship leader Italian Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), is currently a considerable way outside the provisional Q2 cut-off…

Fernandez was comfortably quickest in FP1 and 0.421 up on the field, and that was still the best lap of the day through much of FP2. It was only beaten by the man himself with less than 10 minutes to go in the afternoon when he went almost two tenths faster again. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo was flying in formation but when Acosta crossed the line just behind, he was still 0.470 seconds shy and that’s how it stayed.

Earlier, Aldeguer had got somewhat close to the fastest lap of the session when he set a 1:24.501, and that effort would be good enough for third-quickest overall. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing team) clocked a late 1:24.557 to take up fourth spot and shuffle fellow Briton Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team), who laid down an early 1:24.600, back to fifth. Marcos Ramirez (MV Augusta Forward Racing) was another who did his best work right near the start of FP2, a 1:24.621 earning him sixth on the timesheets, ahead of home hero Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), rookie Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up), the now nearly-recovered Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team), and Portugal winner Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team).

Fine weather is expected again when FP3 unfolds and a number of key players in the World Championship will be hoping to improve. Currently 11th-fastest is the man who was runner-up at the Catalan GP a fortnight ago, Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), ahead of Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team), Filip Salač (Gresini Racing Moto2™), and Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40).

That leaves Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda team Asia), and Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) all looking for more, and Arbolino did not register a lap time in FP1 due to an early crash. The Italian only got up to 16th with a 1:25.058 in FP2, while Chantra and Ogura sit 19th and 21st respectively. Still, all three are faster than the rider at the very top of the Championship points table, with Vietti 24th and a full 1.467 seconds off on Friday.

Barry Baltus (RW Racing GP) crashed in FP1 and went to the medical centre but was declared fit. Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team), Aldeguer, Keminth Kubo (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp), Niccolo Antonelli (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Lopez all crashed too, riders ok. Simon Corsi (MV Augusta Forward Racing Racing) had a spill in FP2 at Turn 1 – rider ok.

Will we see another Vietti rescue job, and can fellow title contender Ogura also dig himself out of trouble? Find out when FP3 kicks off on Saturday at 10:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying from 15:10.

FRIDAY: TOP 3
1 Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – Kalex – 1’24.023
2 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – Kalex – +0.470
3 Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) – Boscoscuro – +0.478

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