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Kömmerling Gresini Moto3's Gabriel Rodrigo remained at the top of the Moto3™ timesheets as the opening day at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix came to a close for the lightweight class. The Argentinian's FP1 lap was four-tenths of a second quicker than the fastest lap seen in FP2, courtesy of Red Bull KTM Ajo's Raul Fernandez, as only two riders inside the vital top 14 able to improve from this morning.
Heading into Saturday morning's FP3 session, Rodrigo leads the pack closely followed by the Red Bull KTM Ajo pairing of Kaito Toba and Fernandez. As Fernandez topped FP2, teammate Toba didn't enjoy the same fortunes following a crash at Turn 10. Next up is another pair of teammates with Leopard Racing's Dennis Foggia a fraction clear of Jaume Masia in fourth and fifth. The Spaniard had a disastrous FP1 after two crashes and he seemingly had a minor technical issue that forced him to miss the opening part of FP2, however, he jumped inside the top five with his final lap of the day.
Sixth on the combined standings thanks to his FP1 lap is Red Bull KTM Tech 3's Ayumu Sasaki but the Japanese rider was another man to suffer a crash, going down, unhurt, at Turn 10. Completing the top ten was Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team), World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team), John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team).
Other men to go down during the 45-minute session were: Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Moto3), who required a trip to the local hospital for further inspection on a back injury following a nasty looking crash at Turn 7, Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), the Spaniard suffering a front-end washout at Turn 6, Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), tucking the front at Turn 4, and Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power), the South African crashing out ahead of his final lap of the session at the penultimate corner.
Saturday will be an important day for many of the lightweight class frontrunners, none more so than Tatsuki Suzuki who currently finds himself outside of the top 14 and Q2 as he aims for a fourth straight Moto3™ pole position at Brno tomorrow afternoon.
Top 10 combined:
1. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) – 2:08.612
2. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.106
3. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.227
4. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.511
5. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) + 0.752
6. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.817
7. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.850
8. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team) + 0.925
9. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.954
10. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.963