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11 hours ago
By motogp.com

Zarco tops the timesheets on Friday - by two thousandths

Frenchman fastest on Day 1 in Brno

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Highlights: Zarco edges Friday’s Moto2™ practice

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Zarco: “It was not easy to be fast”

Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS were aptly-named on Friday morning in Brno, as 2014 Moto3™ world champion Alex Marquez proved the star of FP1 at the Czech venue as his return to form continues. The afternoon then saw the pack shuffle slightly once again as reigning champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) upped the pace to take to the top, after Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri had taken Forward Racing to the front for much of the session. Zarco’s margin at the top was tiny, however, as the Moto2™ grid prepare for another incredibly close weekend in the intermediate class.

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Luthi: “We made some steps forward in FP2”

Behind the reigning Moto2™ world champion was key 2016 rival Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten), who missed out on the top spot by only two thousandths behind his French rival. The Swiss rider had a difficult final lap in Austria as he dropped from P2 to P4 and ended the race off the podium, but got back on track with a bang in Brno as he looks to reverse that fortune in the Czech Republic.

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Baldassarri: “I have a good rhythm here”

Resurgent Lorenzo Baldassarri was pushed back into P3 on an impressive day for the Italian, after having led most of the session. The Forward Racing Rider went quickest and stayed there until the final few minutes, when both Zarco and Luthi hit back.

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was fourth quickest on Friday as the Japanese rider enjoyed a great start to the HJC Helmets Grand Prix České Republiky, ahead of the rookie Leopard Racing pairing of Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira in P5 and P6 respectively.

Seventh quickest was championship contender Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), who showed a huge improvement in the final half of FP2, ahead of Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as the former world champion continued his presence in the top echelons of the timesheets. Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Pacelin Malaysia) had a positive FP2 to end Friday in P9, with Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) completing the top ten on day 1.

Title contender Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) had a tough Friday and slotted into P16 at the end of track action for the day.

Moto2™ will be back out for FP3 on Saturday morning at the Automotodrom Brno, ahead of qualifying practice later in the afternoon.

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#CzechGP: Moto2™ Free Practice 2