Gardner Denies Augusto Fernandez By Just 0.007It’s tight at the top on Friday, with thousandths deciding the honours at MotorLand and only a tenth covering the top four.

Moto2™ Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) ends Day 1 at the Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon as the fastest man in the intermediate class, but the Spaniard had some seriously close company as Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) got within just 0.007. Completing the top three it was rookie sensation Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) despite recent surgery for a small metacarpal fracture, but he had even closer company as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was just 0.003 in further arrears in fourth.

FP1
Elf Marc VDS Racing’s Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez held a 1-2 until late on, when Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) backed up his Silverstone podium with more speed to pull out an impressive 0.473 on Lowes and go fastest. Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) then split the Brit and Augusto Fernandez to take over in third on his last lap, with Championship leader Gardner completing the top five but 0.888 off the top in the morning.

Only 0.004 off him, Di Giannantonio took sixth, with Raul Fernandez – after his cycling crash in training and subsequent surgery on his hand – slotting into seventh.

In eighth, 2021 Moto2™ European Champion Fermin Aldeguer (+Ego Speed Up) kept impressing, 0.098 off the number 25 ahead of him. Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) and Albert Arenas (Kipin Energy Aspar Team) completed the top ten.

Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team) was the only crasher, going down at Turn 12 and rider ok.

FP2
Lowes was the first rider to venture into the 1:52s in FP2 as he and Bezzecchi improved early doors, remaining the top two until the clocked ticked down towards 10 minutes to go. Augusto Fernandez and Gardner exchanged first, before Di Giannantonio then climbed to P3 as riders started to find some decent pace in the latter stages of FP2.

Raul Fernandez was able to take over in third in the closing stages to sit less than a tenth away from second place Augusto Fernandez. That meant Diggia dropped to P4 by the end of the session, a good day for the Italian nonetheless, as Lowes completed the top five.

Navarro crashed at Turn 14, rider ok but not improving on his FP1 best, before Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) tumbled at Turn 7.

John McPhee, making his Moto2™ debut with Petronas Sprinta Racing, also crashed but was able to continue. He ended the day on a 1:55.274.

Combined timesheets
Gardner, Augusto Fernandez, Raul Fernandez, ‘Diggia’ and Lowes are the top five overall, all from FP2, with reigning Moto3™ World Champion Albert Arenas in sixth, enjoying his first visit to MotorLand on a Moto2™ machine. He was just 0.003 ahead of seventh place Bezzecchi. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) takes P8, also from FP2, with Navarro ninth overall by the end of play and by virtue of his FP1 best.

Aldeguer rounded out the top 10 as his form continued impressing, finding even more speed in the afternoon, with Marcos Ramirez (American Racing), Canet, Garzo and Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) currently the final riders set to move straight to Q2. Will that change in FP3?

We’ll find out on Saturday morning, before qualifying decides the grid from 14:10 (GMT +2).

Moto2™ Friday top five:
1 Remy Gardner – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – 1:52.743
2 Augusto Fernandez – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.007
3 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.102
4 Fabio Di Giannantonio – Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 – Kalex – +0.105
5 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.228

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