Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin has continued his fine form from Japan and Australia, where the rookie bagged his first two intermediate class podium finishes, by ending the opening day of Moto2™ action at the Shell Malaysian Grand Prix fastest. The 2018 Moto3™ World Champion ended two tenths clear of FP1’s fastest man Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) and World Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).
Martin’s 2:05.968 was just three tenths adrift of Marquez’s fastest ever Moto2™ lap around the Sepang International Circuit and the Spaniard was the only man all day to dip beneath the 2:06 barrier. Nagashima found a further tenth from FP1 to end second quickest, with Marquez closing the day third on the timesheets after finding the limit on a couple of occasions.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder, fresh from victory five days ago, ended fourth fastest, despite failing to improve on his lap from FP1. Beta Tools Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro rounded out the top five, half a second adrift of Martin. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) ended just 0.027 of a second ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) in sixth and seventh respectively.
Completing the top ten, and more than likely to have a place in Q2 on Saturday with rain forecast throughout the day, is Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia) and Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP40). The intermediate class are back on track on Saturday morning 09:55 local time (GMT+8) ahead of the grid being set, starting at 13:30 local time (GMT+8) for Q1.
1. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 2:05.968
2. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.229
3. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.360
4. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.442
5. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 0.535
6. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.586
7. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 0.613
8. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.686
9. Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) + 0.704
10. Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP 40) + 0.712
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