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23 days ago
By motogp.com

SKY Racing Team VR46 take control on Friday in Andalucia

Bezzecchi fastest overall, Marini on top in FP2 as the Italians look strong at the Andalucia GP

After Marco Bezzecchi topped Moto2™ FP1 at the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia, Luca Marini made sure it was a perfect start to proceedings for SKY Racing Team VR46 by setting the quickest time in FP2. The Spanish GP race winner set a 1:41.992 in FP2 to lead Bezzecchi by 0.081, with Bezzecchi sitting P1 on the combined times. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) and Championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) sit inside the top three overall.

Round 3: Moto2™ FP2 at the Andalucian Grand Prix

The Italian duo looked mighty strong last weekend at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto and it looks like they’ve managed to bring that pace into the Andalucian Grand Prix. The scary thing? Marini found three tenths in today’s FP2 compared to last week’s – but it’s close out there, in both the scorching heat and cooler morning temperatures.

In FP1 it was Bezzecchi who set the pace as we saw the first indication of who possessed the pace five days on from the gruelling Spanish GP battle. However, it wasn’t plain sailing for Bezzecchi in FP2 as the number 72 crashed at Turn 1, with his Kalex Triumph machine setting fire in the gravel trap. Luckily, Bezzecchi didn’t look like he’d done any more damage to his already injured ankle. Both the SKY VR46 bikes were riding in tandem in FP2 as the riders put in some long lap runs, gaining more information for the race.

Bezzecchi BBQ - fire in the final moments of FP2

Chasing Bezzecchi closest on the combined times is Nagashima. The Japanese star was the only rider to really keep Marini honest on Sunday and the title chaser is in the mood again at the Andalucia GP – just 0.028 splits Nagashima and Bezzecchi at the summit, with Navarro also within a tenth. In the afternoon, both Nagashima and Navarro sat inside the top 7 as they demonstrated strong qualifying and race pace, with Nagashima looking menacing in P3 during the afternoon stint. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) and Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) complete the top five on the overall rankings, the latter finishing P10 in FP2 with Baldassarri claiming 16th.

Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) has been in good form again ahead of his second race with the team. The British rider takes P6 on the combined standings just ahead of Marini as the duo sit two tenths off Bezzecchi’s time, with Lowes two tenths shy of Marini’s pace in FP2. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a good showing in FP2 to finish P4, the Spanish GP polesitter will start Saturday as the eighth fastest man on track ahead of Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) and rookie Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team Moto2) – the pair picked up P15 and P13 in FP2 respectively.

Can anyone stop the SKY Racing Team VR46 stranglehold on P1 at the Andalucia GP when the riders head out for FP3? It's very likely with the competition so close once more. It’s a session that is going to decide who will automatically be in Q2, and who has to fight it out on Q1, so tune in at 10:55 local time (GMT+2) to watch the intermediate class action.

Top 10 combined: 
1. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) – 1:41.525
2. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.028
3. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 0.065
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) + 0.153
5. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.210
6. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.225
7. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.230
8. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.232
9. Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) + 0.236
10. Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.365

Click here for the full FP1 and FP2 results! 

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