The Brit saves his best until the very last action of the day to depose Gardner, with Dixon denying Bezzecchi and Roberts for third.
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) left it late on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, but the Brit’s last lunge in FP2 sees him end Friday on top of the combined timesheets by just over a tenth and a half ahead of Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) leapt up the timesheets in FP2 to complete the top three, denying Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) by hundredths.
FP1 saw Gardner rule the roost and the Australian was back on top in FP2 until that last lunge from Lowes, showing consistency across both sessions once again – and it’s actually Gardner’s marginally quicker FP1 time that was his best, although his FP2 lap would also have put him P2. Dixon’s FP2 push, meanwhile, made it two Brits who moved up as crunch time for the crucial Q2 provisional places hit, moving from outside the top 20 to sit second in the session and then third as Lowes took over at the top.
Bezzecchi is another whose FP1 lap was quicker, the Italian’s by a few tenths to put him fourth overall on the combined timesheets but just 0.012 behind Dixon. Roberts completes the top five by another tiny margin as the American’s FP2 best was just 0.016 off Bezzecchi’s fastest from FP1.
Portugal winner Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is within a tenth to take P6, beginning a run of riders whose best efforts were set in FP1. The rookie sensation just pipped veteran Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) by an infinitesimal 0.008, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Fabio Di Giannantonio is even closer in P8 and only 0.006 back, with Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) 0.030 in arrears in ninth. All four were faster in FP1, with Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the top ten and the next rider with a fastest lap from FP2. The Italian also has a Long Lap Penalty to serve in the race for causing a crash last time out on the Algarve.
Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP 40) complete the fastest 14 so far, currently set to move through to Q2.
Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team), rookie teammate and reigning Moto3™ World Champion Albert Arenas, and Flexbox HP 40’s Hector Garzo are next on the timesheets, currently all set to miss the cut by just hundredths. Canet and Garzo also crashed, as did Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), Cameron Beaubier (American Racing), Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) and Tommaso Marcon (MV Agusta Forward Racing), riders all ok.
Can those just on the cusp hit back on Saturday morning in FP3? Find out at 10:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying for the intermediate class from 15:10.
Moto2™ Friday top five:
1 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – 1:41.515
2 Remy Gardner – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.160
3 Jake Dixon – Petronas Sprinta Racing – Kalex – +0.270
4 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – +0.282
5 Joe Roberts – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex – +0.298
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