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11 days ago
By motogp.com

Marini hunts down leader Lowes in Brno FP3

The British rider and the Italian were a step ahead of the Moto2™ field ahead of qualifying

Friday Moto2™ pacesetter Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) remains the man to beat at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix, but Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) is right on the British rider’s tail. Lowes set a 2:01.809 in FP3 to edge out the Italian’s 2:01.892, with Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) 0.317 adrift in third.

The action in the intermediate class FP3 session was frantic from the get-go as the majority of the pack slammed in personal best weekend times. Marini was one of those and it was the Spanish GP winner who set the first sub-2:02 of the Grand Prix to displace Lowes from top spot, with the British rider quickly slipping down to P10 after a bunch of riders beat his FP1 time.

Roberts, having finished second on Friday, joined Lowes in slipping down the order as neither improved early in FP3. The American soon did find some pace to get himself back up to P2, 0.2 off Marini. The action settled somewhat as the clocked ticked down to the 20-minute mark, with Lowes yet to find time. However, the number 22 was about to move the goalposts. Lowes joined Marini in the 2:01s and topped the Italian’s time by 0.083, with Augusto Fernandez getting a helping hand from teammate Lowes to propel himself into P8.

So behind the top three sits Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), with SKY Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi looking strong again to complete the top five in Brno ahead of qualifying. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) was one of those to improve in the opening 10 mins of FP3 to sit sixth, a great job from the rookie, who sits ahead of fellow rookie Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team). The latter had a much better morning than he did on Friday to finish ahead of compatriot Fernandez, with Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and Hafizh Syahrin (Openbank Aspar Team) claiming the final top 10 places.

Championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will have to battle it out in Q1 after finishing P16. Not the result the Japanese rider would have been looking for as qualifying is set up to be a cracker. Can anyone stop Lowes’ dominance in Brno? Marini looks like he fancies his chances and you can watch it all unfold at 15:10 local time (GMT+2).

Top 10:
1. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 2:01.809
2. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.083
3. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) + 0.317
4. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.319
5. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.431
6. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) + 0.460
7. Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team) + 0.497
8. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.508
9. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.522
10. Hafizh Syahrin (Openbank Aspar Team) + 0.534

Click here for the full results! 

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