Thanks to an electric final flying lap, Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) ended Day 1 of the Motul TT Assen as the fastest man in Moto3™, timing his attack to perfection to tuck in behind VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino, fastest at the time, and pip him to the top on his final lap of FP2. His 1:41.782 saw Kornfeil finish up 0.098 ahead of the Italian, and that’s the biggest gap across the entire top nine on the combined timesheets.
The entirety of the field improved their times in the afternoon and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was just 0.013 off Arbolino by the end of play, making him the highest-placed Championship contender on Day 1 after a tougher Friday for the two men ahead of him in the standings. The Italian invasion near the top continued in fourth with Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers), with Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo rounding out a top five split by less than two tenths.
Sixth went to the ever-impressive Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), and he was half a tenth ahead of Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) after a solid day for the South African. Kaito Toba headed teammate Ai Ogura as the two Honda Team Asia teammates put their stunning 60th anniversary liveries into eighth and ninth respectively, with Catalan GP winner Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) completing the top ten.
His teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta took P11 on Day 1 and will be looking for more to gain on Championship leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) in the Motul TT Assen, although Canet ended Friday in P22 after a mechanical problem and then a collision with Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), so of the top three in the standings overall it’s Antonelli who holds the cards so far. Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) was P12, ahead of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race).
The fastest 14 on the combined timesheets after FP3 go straight through to Qualifying 2. Will the list of names change on Saturday morning? Tune in to see how the pack shuffles from 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying begins from 12:35.
1 – Jakub Kornfeil (CZE – KTM) 1’41.782
2 – Tony Arbolino (ITA – Honda) +0.098
3 – Niccolo Antonelli (ITA – Honda) +0.111
4 – Romani Fenati (ITA – Honda) +0.114
5 – Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG – Honda) +0.197