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Improved conditions brought improved times as the intermediate class upped the pace with Zarco ending fastest ahead of Cortese and Nakagami.
The Moto2™ World Championship was the only class with two sessions where slicks were appropriate to use. As a result they did not experience the dramatic drop in times like the lightweight and premier classes, times instead steadily improving during the session. As in the previous two classes, all riders would eventually set their best times of the day during the second session.
A rapid final lap of 1’52.944 rocketed Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) to the top of Free Practice 2, the Frenchman controlling both sessions at the Italian GP on Friday. His time in the second session was over half a second quicker than in the morning session, the reigning Moto2™ World Champion back to his best after a tough home weekend.
Having missed the French GP due to injury, Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) made a superb return to action as he wrapped up Friday as the second fastest rider. The German was only 0.049s slower than Zarco’s best time. Cortese, like several other riders, had his final lap time cancelled for exceeding track limits. Fortunately this was not his fastest time.
Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) again started the weekend well, 0.065s behind Zarco and only 0.016s behind Cortese in second place. The slipstream proved to be a helpful tool to gain several vital tenths at the end of a lap.
Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) ended fourth having made progress with his Kalex during a test in Misano ahead of the weekend. Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) also started the weekend off on the right foot as he ended fifth and a mere 0.125s back on Zarco.
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team), Xavier Simeon (QMMF Racing Team), Luca Marini (Forward Team), Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top ten.
Championship leader Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) finished the day in 11th ahead of fellow front runner Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten). From Zarco in first to Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) in 20th, there was just one second dividing all the riders.
Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) was an early faller in the session as he came off his Speed Up at Turn 2. He was immediately on his feet and picking up his bike.
Free Practice 3 for the intermediate class at the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM begins at 10:55 Local Time on Saturday.
Times and results from Free Practice 2 can be seen here.
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