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Navarro leads sunny Free Practice 1 in France

Navarro leads sunny Free Practice 1 in France

No signs of rain as Jorge Navarro set the pace in FP1 ahead of Bulega and Fenati while Binder experienced technical issues.

The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France commenced as the Moto3™ World Championship headed out on track for Free Practice 1. Under beautiful clear skies the 34 rider strong field got to work.

After a thrilling victory from the back of the grid in Jerez, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took an early lead in the session as times were immediately in the mid 1’45s. Unfortunately the World Championship leader had an issue down the straight. He and the bike were quickly back in the pits and resumed Free Practice 1 with 10 minutes remaining.

Times would steadily fall as the session went, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) eventually coming out on top as he set a 1’43.959 to top the session. The Spaniard was the only rider under the 1’44s barrier.

A mere 0.166s behind, Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) continued to impress in his rookie season. This is by no means the Italian’s first time at the Le Mans circuit having raced there in the CEV championship in both 2014 and 2015.

It was a tight top three as Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) started his weekend on a positive note with a 1’44.182, only 0.223s slower than Navarro. Fenati comes into the race as an early favourite after winning the 2015 French GP.

After a difficult start to the season, Livio Loi (RW Racing GP) was back on form as he set the fourth fastest time. Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) was also back to his best after difficulties in both Austin and Jerez as he completed the top five. All of the top five were within half a second of Navarro’s time.

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team), Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia), Joan Mir and Brad Binder formed the top ten. Despite being able to get back out on track, Binder was unable to make any further progress.

Despite coming to Le Mans with the intention of racing, Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) was declared unfit due to breaking his right wrist in a training accident. He is hoping to be fit for his home round in Mugello next time out.

Wildcard Davide Pizzoli (Procercasa – 42 Motorsport) was also forced to withdraw due to an ankle injury.

Free Practice 2 for the lightweight class begins at 13:10 Local Time.

Full times from the session are available here.

Tags:
Moto3, 2016, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, FP1, Romano Fenati, Nicolò Bulega, Jorge Navarro, Estrella Galicia 0,0, SKY Racing Team VR46, Report

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