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Migno motors to Motegi top spot in frantic Moto3™ FP2

A flurry of late fast laps saw the order shuffle ahead of tomorrow’s dodgy forecast

Top spot in Moto3™ on Friday at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan went the way of Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) after the Italian posted a 1:56.742 with his final lap of the session. The Italian ended a tenth clear of Leopard Racing’s Marcos Ramirez and Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee.

With wet weather seemingly on the horizon for tomorrow’s final FP3 session, riders and teams chucked brand-new rubber at Friday’s FP2 with just two riders, VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Sergio Garcia, unable to improve on their FP1 laps.

Behind Migno, who was just three tenths adrift of Hiroki Ono’s fastest ever Twin-Ring lap from 2016, was Ramirez, McPhee and then Jakub Kornfeil, who had a much better day than his Redox PruestelGP teammate Filip Salac. The young Czech rider viciously high-sided at Turn 3 early in the session and it came just moments after being handed a pitlane start for Sunday’s race due to irresponsible riding in FP1. His fitness will be assessed tomorrow morning ahead of FP3.

Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo completed the top five having set the same lap time as Kornfeil. Celestino Vietti was three tenths back in sixth place, ahead of SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki and CIP Green Power’s Darryn Binder. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) was safely inside the top 14 and as a result looks likely to have secured a place in Q2 after ending ninth fastest, with Thai GP winner Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) a place further back in tenth.

World Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) slipped back to eleventh on the timesheets after ending the first session of the day fastest. The Italian had a second crash of the day too after the front end folded on him without warning at Turn 5, following his earlier incident where he crashed right in front of his teammate Ramirez during FP1.

Dalla Porta and Sterilgarda Max Racing Team’s Aron Canet were again inseparable after the duo ended FP1 first and second only to then end FP2 one-thousandth of a second apart in eleventh and twelfth. Provisionally, the final Q2 places are held by Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura and Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Ayumu Sasaki in thirteenth and fourteenth.

Top 10 combined: 
1. Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) – 1:56.742
2. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 0.097
3. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.135
4. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) + 0.295
5. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.295
6. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.339
7. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.340
8. Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) + 0.351
9. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) + 0.372
10. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) + 0.449

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