Once again it’s the Brit on top and the rookie in hot pursuit, with Navarro P3 after a big move up the timesheets in FP2
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) was top of the pile on Friday at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, the Brit pulling 0.184 clear of rookie sensation Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to once again prove the man to beat on Day 1. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) completed the top three, 0.308 off the top.
Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) ruled the morning session, the American striking late to take over at the top by just over two tenths. Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) slotted into second, the Australian also enjoying some close company from Sam Lowes as the Brit was just 0.020 back.
Raul Fernandez, despite having only ridden round Mugello in the World Championship as a Moto3™ rookie, left no doubt he’d once again be a threat near the front as he started off his weekend in fourth too, just ahead of fellow Moto2™ rookie Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) as the 2019 Moto3™ winner completed the top five.
There was one faller in the morning, wildcard Tommaso Marcon (MV Agusta Forward Racing), as he took a tumble at Scarperia aka Turn 10.
The afternoon was when Lowes hit back to take over. Raul Fernandez ruled for most of the session but the Brit pulled a fast one on his 13th and 17th laps to take over at the top and beat his own best, respectively. Raul Fernandez was forced to settle for second, with Navarro going from P20 in FP1 to complete the top three in the afternoon and overall. Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) was fourth in FP2, with Arbolino completing the top five with more good speed.
Roberts went from quickest in FP1 to first crasher of the session in FP2, but rider ok, with Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) also taking tumbles, riders ok.
Overall it’s the FP2 top three who reign: Lowes, Raul Fernandez and Navarro. Roberts’ best from FP1 puts the American into fourth on the combined timesheets though, relegating Bezzecchi to fifth. Arbolino is sixth.
Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) ends the day in P7 thanks to his FP1 best, with the Australian also fluffing a faster effort in the afternoon that says there’s likely more to come. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) slots into P8 ahead of Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), with Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completing the top ten courtesy of his FP1 best.
Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team), Somkiat Chantra and Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) are the last set to move through to Q1 as it stands, although FP3 gives the grid another shot at the top. Tune in for that on Saturday morning before qualifying for the intermediate class from 15:10 (GMT +2).
Moto2™ Friday top five:
1 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – 1:51.385
2 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.184
3 Jorge Navarro – MB Conveyors Speed Up – Boscoscuro – +0.308
4 Joe Roberts – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex – +0.361
5 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – +0.465
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