Friday at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix got off to a fairly dramatic start as a Red Flag brought proceedings to a halt for some time, causing delays throughout the day. What happened? Stefano Nepa (CIP – Green Power) failed to check the state of his bike as he re-joined – and he put oil down on track. Championship challenger Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) fell victim to that and it prefaced a long delay for the track to be cleaned – as the rain also came down as an extra complication – before we finally got back underway. Nepa was suspended from FP2 as a consequence.
Once action began again it was Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) who went quickest in FP1, but he didn’t remain there as FP2 saw everyone improve their laptimes in much better conditions. Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took back the top and bettered Martin’s time from the morning, with the points leader pushed down to second. Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) was only two thousandths in arrears to complete the top three, just ahead of twice-crashing Bezzecchi.
Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) was fifth quickest on Day 1, ahead of Motegi podium finisher Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) as the Japanese rider once again showed top pace on Friday. Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) and Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) completed the top ten.
One big crash saw Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) running into trouble and then into Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia), although the Thai rider was able to take to the run off and rejoin. ‘Diggia’, who suffered a big highside in Japan, was taken to the Medical Centre for a check up and declared fit to continue at Phillip Island.
That’s it from Day 1, FP3 for the lightweight class begins at 10:00 (GMT +11) on Saturday and they head out for qualifying at 13:35.
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