Dynavolt Intact GP’s Marcel Schrötter made a statement on Day 1 at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, moving half a second clear of teammate Tom Lüthi to end the day top in the Moto2™ class. Even more impressively, the German’s time of 2:09.982 meant he was within just 0.034 seconds of Franco Morbidelli’s COTA lap record from 2017, as well as half a second quicker than the lap Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) set to earn pole position last year. Marquez, meanwhile, was just 0.090 off Lüthi to complete the top three.
Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini was fourth fastest and still less than a tenth behind Lüthi, with former winner at the venue Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the top five. Sixth quickest, having improved from 14th in FP1, was Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40). But he had some close company as rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) ended the day just 0.058 behind the Qatar and Argentina race winner.
On his return to the Moto2™ class, replacement rider Mattia Pasini (Flexbox HP 40’s) was eighth quickest, just ahead of Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up), who slipped down from the top three in FP1. Argentina podium finisher Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) completed the top ten ahead of teammate Tetsuta Nagashima, who was another of the big improvers after moving from 23rd in FP1 to P11 by the end of play. On course to join the Japanese rider in Q2 are Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) and rookie Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team).
Following a spectacular crash into Turn 2 leaving him unhurt, Xavi Vierge of EG 0,0 Marc VDS is currently 18th overall meaning the Argentina poleman looks like he might have to fight it out in Q1. Jake Dixon (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), meanwhile, was also crasher on Day 1 and the Brit was declared unfit for the remainder of the weekend after suffering a concussion.
Weather in FP3 could be cause for concern, so it may prove impossible for those not in the provisional graduation zone for Q2 to improve. Find out if the intermediate class can make another push for the top from 10:55 local time (GMT -5), before qualifying at 15:05.
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