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After a tricky FP1 session, Brad Binder regained control of the Moto3™ class ahead of Fenati and Jules Danilo.
The sun continued to beat down on the Le Mans circuit, allowing riders in the Moto3™ World Championship to make the most of their Free Practice sessions. Initially the track had been somewhat greasy during Free Practice 1, but steadily improved as the day went on. For Free Practice 2 the track temperature increased by 20°C, reaching up into the 30s.
On his last lap of the session, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was able to set a 1’43.365 to lead the opening day of practice at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. It was another mixed session for Binder who had several small technical issues at the start but, as in Jerez, when the pressure was on the South African excelled. His final time was over a second and a half quicker than in FP1.
Like Binder, Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) was a late improver, as he became one of 12 riders to drop into the 1’43s. 0.076s separated the Italian from the top spot, all of the top four within just 0.2s.
Local rider Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold) is in the best form of his career, fresh off back-to-back ninth place finishes and full of confidence. The confidence continued to grow in front of his home crowd as the French rider set a 1’43.535 to shake up the established order and end the opening day of his home GP in third.
Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was one of the first riders in the top three to improve his time from the earlier session, managing a 1’43.557 which would see him eventually finish in fourth. Behind him on the combined times was Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) who continues to look like a podium threat yet again.
Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia), Andrea Locatelli (Leopard Racing), Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3), Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) and Livio Loi (RW Racing GP) all managed to improve their best time to a 1’43 and finished the day inside the top ten on combined times.
Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) was the first faller in the session, crashing unhurt at Turn 7 within the first ten minutes. Fellow Italian Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia) suffered a ferocious highside as he exited Turn 14 but was immediately on his feet.
Action resumes at 09:00 Local Time for the lightweight class when Free Practice 3 begins.
Results from the session can be viewed here.
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