Raul Fernandez fastest from Augusto Fernandez after Red Bull KTM Ajo and Elf Marc VDS Racing Team take over on Day 1
The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya begins with a familiar name on top in Moto2™: Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo). The rookie was fastest on Friday ahead of a resurgent Augusto Fernandez, with the number 37’s Elf Marc VDS Racing teammate Sam Lowes completing the top three. Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was fourth as the two teams duelled for Day 1 honours.
The morning belonged to Elf Marc VDS Racing Team as they locked out at the top in the intermediate class. Augusto Fernandez headed teammate Sam Lowes by a tenth and a half, with man of the moment Gardner just 0.003 further back in third place. His teammate, rookie Raul Fernandez, ended FP1 just 0.048 off the Aussie, with Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) completing the top five.
Keminth Kubo ( VR46 Master Camp Team) was the only faller, rider ok. Barry Baltus (NTS RW Racing GP) didn’t crash, but the Belgian did put in one of the greatest saves of the season so far.
Raul Fernandez struck back in the afternoon, taking to the top late on and deposing teammate Gardner after the Australian led the session for the majority. Lowes and Augusto Fernandez took third and fourth, respectively, with Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) fifth quickest on home turf.
Augusto Fernandez crashed and rejoined, as did Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and injury replacement Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up). Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and wildcard Piotr Biesiekirski (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Euvic) were also fallers in the afternoon.
Barry Baltus did take a tumble at Turn 4 in the afternoon, and headed for the medical centre for a check up.
Raul Fernandez’ FP2 best puts him top from Augusto Fernandez’ FP1 time, with 0.016 between the two. Lowes is in third ahead of Gardner, with Bezzecchi’s FP1 fastest taking the last place in the top five.
Vierge is sixth ahead of a good showing from Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40), with Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team) completing the top ten on the combined times.
As it stands, Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) complete the names who stand to move through to Q2, with FP3 deciding it with a final shuffle on Saturday.
Tune in for that, before Moto2™ qualifying from 15:10 (GMT +2)!
Moto2™ Friday top five:
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – 1:43.687
2 Augusto Fernandez – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.016
3 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.166
4 Remy Gardner – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.169
5 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – +0.221
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