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Johann Zarco the man to beat in Moto2™ at #ArgentinaGP

 Johann Zarco the man to beat in Moto2™ at #ArgentinaGP

A close opening day at the GP Red Bull De La República Argentina saw the top 18 Moto2™ riders within a second.

A stunning lap of 1’43.816s saw Qatar race winner Jonas Folger lead the way early and set a new circuit best lap. Tito Rabat and an impressive Lorenzo Baldassarri hotly pursued the German in the opening session. Track conditions improved in FP2 meaning all but Folger improved their times, Folger ending Friday in seventh.

Having taken his first win at Austin, Sam Lowes continued to show himself as a Moto2™ title contender, topping the early part of FP2. It was not easy running though with the Brit only just managing to save a huge rear slide before running into the gravel. Lowes will be keen to avoid more crashes as Austin proved a physically demanding weekend for him.

Johann Zarco was able to steal the top spot in the closing stages of practice with a 1’34.239. Zarco is able to lap more consistently in the 1’43s than Lowes, having put in 11 laps during FP2 and about half in the low 1’43s. This pace is also significantly quick than that of Kallio and Rabat.

Perhaps the biggest surprised of the opening day was Lorenzo Baldassarri in fifth position. The Italian had a difficult year on the Suter frame last season, but is adapting well to the Kalex and his Athina Forward Racing Team. He has already scored six points this season, having scored zero at the same stage in 2014.

Joining Lowes in the top ten were fellow Speed Up riders Anthony West and Julian Simon, the only non-Kalex bikes in the top 15. The Tech 3 duo of Schrotter and Cardus were 16th and 17th, both within a second of Zarco at the front.

Steven Odendaal returned to the Moto2™ grid replacing the injured Axel Pons who broke his scaphoid. Odendaal reacquainted himself well, having raced in Spain last season. There were crashes for Azlan Shah and Sandro Cortese throughout the day and both riders were unhurt.

Click here for the combined results from Moto2™ FP1 & FP2, FP3 is due to start at 10:55 local time on Saturday.

Moto2, 2015, GRAN PREMIO RED BULL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA, FP2, Mika Kallio, Johann Zarco, Sam Lowes

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