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16 days ago
By motogp.com

Lowes keeps Moto2™ P1, Bastianini closes the gap

The Andalucia GP winner topped FP2 ahead of Lowes, but it’s the British rider who takes Friday honours at the Czech GP

Thanks to his FP1 2:02.480, EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes ends Day 1 at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix at the summit of the Moto2™ times. The British rider was second in FP2 behind Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) but keeps top spot, with the Andalucia GP winner sitting second on the combined standings. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) sits third on the timesheets, three tenths off Lowes’ best lap.

Straight away, as we’re quite used to seeing in the Moto2™ class, a few riders immediately improved their times from the morning session as they took advantage of some MotoGP™ rubber on the Brno surface. The SKY Racing Team VR46 duo of Marini and Marco Bezzecchi were two of those to improve in the top 10, Marini gaining places from his 11th place finish in FP1 and Bezzecchi too improving from his P9 finish, but they were still quite a way off Lowes’ impressive FP1 time.

The FP2 session didn’t start well for Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the Spaniard crashed at Turn 11 with 10 minutes gone, with Bezzecchi later going down at Turn 10 in the afternoon session – riders ok. Having placed 13th in FP1, Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) jumped up to fifth on the combined times with five minutes remaining, as drama unfolded for the Championship leader.

Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) claimed P3 in a strong FP1 but the Japanese rider crashed at Turn 13 as the intermediate class went in search of some last-minute improvements. There were no such worries for Lowes though, second in FP2 and fastest overall cemented a very good day at the office for the 29-year-old and the number 22 will take a two-tenth advantage into FP3. Two Italians are chasing the Brit hard, with Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) slipping from P2 to P4 overall from FP1 to FP2 after setting almost identical times in the sessions. Brno has seen a return to form for the American, can he continue that on Saturday?

Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) was able to set his fastest time of the day on his last flying lap in FP2 to grab P5 on Day 1, a dramatic improvement from his 20th place finish in FP1. Despite the crash, Nagashima takes P6 away from him after Friday’s Moto2™ running, the title race leader sits 0.041 ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) in 7th. Bezzecchi sits just over half a second from Lowes in P8, with Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) and Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) rounding out the top 10.

Rookie sensation Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team) didn’t have the best of days in Brno. An issue with his bike hampered FP1, with a crash then wrecking the end of the Spaniard’s FP2. Canet will be hoping Saturday brings better luck as he sits P23 heading into FP3.

And talking of FP3, you can see who claims an all-important top 14 place at 10:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday!

Top 10 combined:
1. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 2:02.480
2. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.209
3. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.319
4. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) + 0.336
5. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.343
6. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.409
7. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.450
8. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.530
9. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.657
10. Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) + 0.659

Click here for the full results! 

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