Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) ended Day 1 of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan on top of the combined timesheets, with the Czech rider fastest in FP1 and rain then stopping anyone beating the benchmark in the afternoon. His teammate, Championship contender Marco Bezzecchi, made it a clean sweep for the team on Friday as he went quickest in the damp. Bezzecchi’s main rivals, Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and teammate Fabio DI Giannantonio, ended the first day of action in Japan in P16 and P18 respectively – setting up an interesting shuffle ahead of qualifying on Saturday.
Back to the front and it’s Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in P2 overall, ahead of the Leopard Racing duo of Enea Bastianini and compatriot Lorenzo Dalla Porta. Fifth place in the dry was John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) on board his KTM, with Bezzecchi sixth on the overall times despite his FP2-topping heroics. Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing) heads into Saturday in seventh thanks to his morning effort, with Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) eighth overall and adding a solid P7 in the damp, too.
Rounding out the top ten after the opening day’s action are Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) and Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) in some good form for both, but it was P15 and P17 in the damp for the two Spaniards after tougher conditions for FP2. Check out qualifying on Saturday from 12:55 (GMT +9) to see how the pack may shuffle once again…
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