Baldassarri beats Schrötter to Moto2™ top spot on Friday

The Italian fronts an intermediate class that sees 0.740 separate the fastest 15

Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) leads the charge in an exceptionally tight Moto2™ field at the close of day one at the VisitQatar Grand Prix, with three quarters of a second separating the top fifteen.

Despite the closeness of the laptimes from P1 down to P15, Baldassarri will go into tomorrow holding a quarter of a second advantage after setting a time of 1:58.635.

After topping this afternoon’s FP1 session, Dynavolt Intact GP’s Marcel Schrötter continued his impressive form by finishing second overall.

Australian Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) provisionally sat at the top of the timesheets in the closing stages with a 1:58.899, but eventually had to settle for third quickest ahead of Federal Oil Gresini's Sam Lowes, who recovered from an electrical problem that plagued his opening session.

Just 0.010 adrift of the Brit was Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) who rounded out the top five. After crashing out of FP1, Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) ended up sixth quickest ahead of Italtrans Racing Team’s Andrea Locatelli and the first of the KTM machines, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder.

Spaniard Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was ninth with Moto2™ debutant Enea Bastianni (Italtrans Racing Team) ending tenth quickest, just 0.476 off of top spot.

Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) set a time of 1:59.143 to sit just outside of the top ten. He was 0.039 ahead of Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) and Dynavolt Intact GP's Tom Luthi, who had a monster highside out of Turn 7 later in the session.

The Swiss rider, despite crashing at speed, was able to rejoin and bring his Kalex back to the garage. Closing out the top 14 and provisionally holding the final confirmed spot in Q2 is current Moto3™ World Champion, Jorge Martin aboard his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine.

American Racing KTM’s Iker Lecuona rejoined halfway through the session after crashing out of the earlier FP1 session with Xavi Cardelus (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) the only other man to crash at the Losail International Circuit – rider ok.

The final free practice session for the Moto2™ field gets underway at 12:20 local time (GMT +3) as the fight for the top 14 to secure a place in Q2 intensifies.

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