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Alex Rins continued his FP1 pace to FP2, leading both sessions and the day from Corsi and Zarco.
Times continued to fall dramatically during Free Practice 2 for the Moto2™ World Championship as Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) went under the circuit and pole record. In most classes a new circuit record would easily ensure a rider topped the timesheets, but in a class as competitive as Moto2™, nothing is certain and Zarco found himself quickly pushed down the order.
All of the top three would get under Xavier Simeon’s 2015 pole time but it was Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) who emerged fastest of them all. Rins would go top, and under the circuit record, on his 14th lap with a 2’09.564 and looked on course to improve the following lap until a small mistake saw him set a 2’09.622, still faster than the man in second.
A 2’09.744 put Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) in second position once again. There may be a limited number of Speed Up bikes on the grid, but they almost always go well at the Circuit of the Americas, Lowes having steered the bike to victory there in 2015. If the Roman can maintain a top three position during Qualifying, he’ll almost certainly be a contender come Sunday as he has the ability to battle with the best thanks to his penchant for an aggressive overtake.
FP2 saw an identical top three to FP1 as Johann Zarco managed to hang onto third. Having quietly gone about his business for much of the session, the reigning intermediate class World Champion put in a 2’09.760s on his 12th lap to go top of the session and record the provisional fastest ever Moto2™ lap at the American circuit. All of the top three riders were divided by under 0.2s of a second with everything building towards another close race as in Argentina.
Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was the fourth and final rider able to lap in the 2’09s, 0.002s off the pole record. The Japanese rider has steadily been improving his speed in the opening two rounds but is still looking to convert it to race pace.
Fifth was a somewhat distant Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team), 0.808s off Rins’ lap and almost half a second behind Nakagami. His session was disrupted by a fall, coming off at Turn 20 in the closing ten minutes. He was uninjured but also unable to improve his time.
Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten), Dominique Aegerter (CarXpert Interwetten) and Luis Salom (SAG Team) rounded out the top ten.
Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Ratthapark Wilairot (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) were the only two riders unable to improve their times in the second session.
Mid-session saw a crash involving both Lowes and Ratthapark Wilairot (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) at the final corner. Lowes was unhurt but Wilairot needed assistance in leaving the track, the Thai rider able to return to track for the final few minutes.
Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) fell soon after at Turn 11.
Complete standings and times from FP2 can be viewed here.
Moto2™ will be in action for FP3 on Saturday at 10:55 Local Time.