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8 days ago
By motogp.com

Lecuona leads the way in Motegi

Spaniard sets the pace in FP2 to finish ahead of Bagnaia and Fernandez on Day 1

Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors) ends Friday at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan as the quickest rider in the Moto2™ class, setting a 1:52.159 to head Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) by 0.119 seconds, with Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) completing the top three in Motegi – 0.231 back.

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Motul Grand Prix of Japan: Moto2™ Free Practice 2

After their morning session was hindered by rain, the intermediate class riders were able to get a solid session under their belts before another light shower then brought proceedings to a premature end with ten minutes remaining. Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) completes Friday’s on track action with a solid P4, 0.358 from Lecuona’s benchmark after finish P10 in the morning, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) rounding out the top five – a significant leap up the timesheets for the number 41 rider after finishing FP1 in P16.

The South African finished 0.075 ahead of teammate and Championship protagonist Miguel Oliveira, P6 for the Portuguese rider, with Tetsuta Nagashima (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) getting his home Grand Prix off to a solid start – P7 for the Japanese rider on the combined times after finishing the damp session in P4, just 0.003 behind Oliveira. FP1’s quickest rider Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP) completes Friday in P8, just ahead of EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Alex Marquez. The Spaniard recovered well after suffering a huge highside at Turn 8 at the end of FP1 to finish P9 in FP2, with Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) completing the top ten.

Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) suffered an early crash at Turn 3 – rider ok after heading to the medical centre for a checkup.

In terms of the Championship, it’s Bagnaia who heads into Saturday with the advantage over Oliveira, but the unpredictable Japanese weather could well spring a surprise or two come qualifying. Can Lecuona transfer Friday’s pace into a first front row start?

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