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Quartararo leads Friday practice at the Americas GP

Quartararo leads Friday practice at the Americas GP

Times drop in Moto3™ FP2 as Fabio Quartararo leads the session and the day overall from Fenati and Antonelli.

During the morning session many riders and teams spent their time experimenting with the front end in an attempt to improve feeling. It was Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) who set the pace during Free Practice 1 with a 2’17.433. Navarro was immediately on the pace again with other riders getting tantalisingly close to his time within just three laps. On his fifth lap of the session, Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) would set a new benchmark and from there the times would tumble lap after lap.

The Italian continued to drop his times and became the first rider of the weekend to set a 2’16. In typical Moto3™ style, his time would not protect him at the top as Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) was able to set the fastest lap of the weekend. The French rider claimed his debut World Championship podium at the American circuit in 2015 and again showed well as he set a 2’16.250 to lead the session and top the combined timesheets. After two difficult rounds, this is exactly what Quartararo needed to boost his confidence and re-establish himself as a podium contender.

A mere 0.147s behind Quartararo was Fenati, the Italian improving to a 2’16.397 on his final lap of the session. This was an improvement of 1.5 seconds from Free Practice 1 for the Sky Racing Team VR46 rider. He was joined in the top three by fellow Italian Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) who was also within a third of a second of Quartararo’s time. The times of the top three are still almost a second slower than Danny Kent’s 2015 pole time.

Both Antonelli and Fenati are aiming to return to the top five after a difficult race in the mixed conditions of Argentina.

Navarro would eventually conclude the session down in fourth, all of the top four within 0.303s of each other. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) was fifth and the final rider able to lap in the 2’16s. Despite his lap time he was 0.306s behind Navarro and over half a second behind Quartararo.

Championship leader, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a difficult session and ended down in 14th, 1.434s off the pace. The South African fitted new tyres late in the session and was unable to make a major impact on the timesheets for one of the first times in 2016. There’s still plenty of time to improve before the race on Sunday.

Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3), Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) and Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) were all inside the top ten. Every rider out on track in Free Practice 2 was able to improve their time from the first session. Most riders were able to go at least one second faster as they improved their feeling on the American track.

Once again a number of riders had their lap times cancelled for exceeding track limits. Come Qualifying on Saturday, remaining inside the circuit will be crucial as the removal of a potential pole time would be devastating.

Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia) fell at Turn 6 in the opening stages of the session but was unharmed.

Full times from FP2 can be viewed here.

Moto3™ will be back on track for FP3 on Saturday at 09:00 Local Time.

Moto3, 2016, RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS, FP2, Niccolò Antonelli, Romano Fenati, Fabio Quartararo, SKY Racing Team VR46, Ongetta-Rivacold, Leopard Racing

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