Championship contender Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) went quickest in the damp conditions that greeted the Moto3™ riders for their FP2 session at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan. A 2:05.403 was enough to beat Thai GP winner Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) by 0.129 seconds, but it’s teammate Jakub Kornfeil who ends Friday top of the combined timesheets after setting the quickest lap time in the morning session.
Showers over lunch saw the lightweight class contending with a damp Twin Ring Motegi in the afternoon, meaning the dry FP1 times would be the finishing order on the combined timesheets at the end of the first day. Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), third fastest in the wet, heads into Saturday just behind Kornfeil, with the two Leopard Racing machines of Enea Bastianini and Lorenzo Dalla Porta next up on the combined times – P13 and P8 respectively for the two Italians in FP2.
Fifth place in the dry was John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) onboard his KTM machine, the Scotsman P21 in the damp conditions, with Bezzecchi sixth on the overall times. Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing) heads into Saturday at the Japanese Grand Prix in seventh thanks to his morning effort, with Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) eighth overall – a solid P7 in the damp for the Italian. Rounding out the top ten after the opening day’s action is Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) and Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) – P15 and P17 in the damp for the two Spaniards.
Title race leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completes Friday down in P16, can he jump up the times ahead of qualifying on Saturday?
The lightweight class battle for pole at 12:35 local time (GMT +9), but questions remain as to whether it will be dry or wet.