The Championship challenger bounces back, with points leader Garcia just inside the top 14.
Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia ruled Friday at the SHARK Grand Prix de France in Le Mans, the Italian recording the three fastest laps of FP2 for an impressive 1:41.680 as his best effort. That leaves him 0.428s clear of title rival and Jerez winner Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team), with Leopard’s Tatsuki Suzuki in P3.
Championship leader Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team), meanwhile, finds himself down in P15 and he’ll be looking for a place in Q2 on Saturday.
Leopard set out their stall early, with Foggia leading a one-two atop the timesheets thanks to a 1:42.184. An impressive run gave the Italian 0.277s to spare over teammate Suzuki, with Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) completing a top three Honda lockout.
The sun was shining as the lightweight class completed their first laps of the weekend, making for pleasant conditions. Guevara was fourth, with Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) taking P5 ahead of Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) made his return from injury in P14 in FP1, just behind the impressive Jose Antonio Rueda (Rivacold Snipers Team), who is making his second World Championship appearance in place of the injured Alberto Surra.
Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) crashed at Turn 8, rider ok.
Only a select few improved their morning times early doors, and Carlos Tatay was one of those as the CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP rider put in an early lap to go top for the session and second overall.
Foggia’s position on top of the combined standings began to come under threat as the grid came out for their final runs with less than 10 minutes to go, with red sectors popping up all across the timing screens. But Italian hit back with three fastest laps to consolidate his position, ending the day fastest ahead of Guevara and Suzuki.
Former Rookies Champion Tatay’s strategy paid off, as he sits comfortably fourth, with Masia moving up to fifth overall.
Championship leader Garcia crashed and wasn’t the only faller either, with Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) also going down early, as did Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) at Turn 8. All riders ok. Gerard Riu (Rivacold Snipers Team) was taken to the medical centre after a simultaneous but separate crash with Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia), but Riu has since been declared fit. Lorenzo Fellon suffered a Turn 4 highside, while his SIC58 Squadra Corse teammate Riccardo Rossi also crashed when coming out of the Dunlop chicane. Ryusei Yamanaka was the other faller in FP2.
Provisional Q2 places
Behind Foggia, Guevara, Suzuki, Tatay and Masia comes Migno in sixth thanks to his FP1 time, with Elia Bartolini (QJMOTOR Avintia Racing Team) in P7. Yamanaka is next up from his morning laptime, with Rossi and Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) in the top 10.
Rookie Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was P11 from his FP1 best, ahead of Öncü, Moreira and Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP). That leaves points leader Garcia looking for more on Saturday morning, so tune in for FP3 from 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying from 12:35!
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