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Classic Barcelona sunshine continued to warm the Montmelo circuit throughout the first Moto3™ World Championship practice session. Riders were straight out on track to begin adjusting to the 4.7km track, times hitting the 1’52s before too long.
The Grand Prix might be running in Spain but it was a very Italian affair as the 40-minute session came to a close. Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) held the fastest time for the majority of the session, the first rider in the 1’52s. Several riders challenged the veteran Italian but he pulled out a 1’51.729 at the end of the session to remain on top.
Fellow Italian Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) was unable to get below a 1’52, ending 0.301s behind Antonelli.
Despite missing the French GP due to a broken wrist, Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) was right back up to speed as he ended the session in third, half a second back on Antonelli’s best time.
Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) and Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) were both inside the top five, under a tenth of a second between the pair. Neither Honda nor KTM appear to have an advantage at the circuit, the top six a perfect 50-50 split.
Championship leader Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was sixth with Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) the leading Spanish rider in seventh. Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3), Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda Team Asia) and Jorge Martin (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) completed the top ten.
Both Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) and Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) had problems with their respective machines during the session. Towards the end of practice Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46) also encountered an issue with his KTM, the Italian pushing the bike back to the pits.
Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) made his return after missing the round in Mugello due to Injury. The German ended FP1 in 27th.
Full results from the first Moto3™ session can be seen here.
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#CatalanGP: Moto3™ Free Practice 1