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Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin backed up a debut podium finish in the intermediate class less than a week ago in Japan by ending quickest in the opening Moto2™ session at the Pramac Generac Australian Grand Prix. The rain continued to fall at quite some rate, with conditions not becoming any easier for the Moto2™ grid.
Once again, a whole host of riders crashed out, with some tasting the gravel trap more than once. The session started in dramatic fashion when both the World Championship leader, Alex Marquez (Marc VDS EG 0,0), and SKY Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini crashed on their out laps. Then, Beta Tools Speed Up’s Fabio Di Giannantonio crashed at Turn 6, as did Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40).
Turn 4 caught out Lukas Tulovic (Kiefer Racing), Xavi Cardelus (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) and Dimas Ekky Pratama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), with the Indonesian rider also crashing at Turn 6 during the session. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) crashed at Turn 12, whilst Jake Dixon (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) crashed at Turn 8.
In the closing stages, Xavi Vierge (Marc VDS EG 0,0) crashed unhurt at Turn 10 and the biggest crash of the session went the way of ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s home hero Remy Gardner, after the Australian was viciously spat over the top at Turn 8, with the bike ending up a more than second-hand state.
Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Martin ended seven-tenths clear of SKY Racing Team VR46’s Nicolo Bulega, with MV Agusta Temporary Forward’s Stefano Manzi completing the top three. Vierge ended fourth despite his crash and the top five was rounded out by Dynavolt Intact GP’s Tom Lüthi.
1. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:45.823
2. Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.771
3. Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Temporary Forward) + 1.138
4. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 1.175
5. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 1.184
6. Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) + 1.283
7. Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 1.433
8. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 1.507
9. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 1.716
10. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 1.810
Moto2™ FP1 at the Australian GP: Friday in full swing
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