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22 days ago
By motogp.com

Rodrigo's Friday lap record enough for top spot in Moto3™

The Argentinian remains at the top of the timesheets ahead of qualifying but Celestino Vietti cut his advantage down to just 0.037

Kömmerling Gresini Moto3's Gabriel Rodrigo remains the man to beat in Moto3™ thanks to his new fastest-ever lap set on Friday morning, but the Argentinian's advantage has been cut down from four tenths to just 0.037 of a second by Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) ahead of qualifying later today.

Rodrigo was one of only three riders inside the top 14 that failed to improve on Friday's lap time, with the Gresini man actually a full second slower than he was this time yesterday. The other two: Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 teammate Jeremy Alcoba, the reigning Junior Moto3™ World Champion ending up 10th, and Red Bull KTM Ajo's Kaito Toba, who managed to cling onto a place in Q2 by finishing 14th despite a fast crash at Turn 12 with ten minutes of the session remaining - rider OK.

Second fastest and right on Rodrigo's coattails ahead of qualifying is last year's Rookie of the Year, Vietti. The Italian exited pitlane with eight minutes of the session remaining alongside teammate Andrea Migno and it worked wonders with the pair avoiding traffic to go second and third on the combined timesheets. Red Bull KTM Ajo's Raul Fernandez made a slight improvement to remain inside the top five in fourth, before it was rounded out by Qatar Grand Prix winner Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3).

SIC58 Squadra Corse's Tatsuki Suzuki finished sixth on the timesheets after a crash at Turn 2 in the closing stages, whereas teammate, and last year's Spanish Grand Prix winner, Niccolo Antonelli, missed out in 16th. Plus, Filip Salac was the only Rivacold Snipers Team machine inside the top 14 after teammate Tony Arbolino missed out on Q2 too in 15th. Completing the top ten were Petronas Sprinta Racing's John McPhee, Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3's Stefano Nepa and the aforementioned Alcoba.

With plenty of big names in Q1, the fight to get inside the top 4 and join the hunt for the second pole position of the year is not to be missed at 12:35 local time (GMT+2), before then Q2 gets underway at 13:00 local time (GMT+2).

Top 14 combined (automatic Q2):
 1. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) – 1:45.663
 2. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.037
 3. Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.112
 4. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.199
 5. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) + 0.216
 6. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.245
 7. Filip Salac (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.266
 8. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.279
 9. Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) + 0.279
 10. Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.526
 11. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.574
 12. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) + 0.581
 13. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.608
 14. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.636

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