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8 days ago
By motogp.com

Lowes stays top as top 14 sees a reshuffle in FP3

There was plenty of movement on a dry Red Bull Ring as the battle for the automatic Q2 places gets feisty

Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) stays top of the Moto2™ standings at the myWorld Austrian Grand Prix after improving his time in FP3. The British rider got his time down to a 1:28.877 to finish 0.073 ahead of second place Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team), with Jorge Martin’s (Red Bull KTM Ajo) FP2 time enough to keep the Spaniard third on the combined times.

The Moto2™ riders were able to get another full dry session under their belts, and some of the riders were immediately able to improve on their Friday times. Two of those were SKY Racing Team VR46 duo Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, the Italians leaping up to third and fourth in the opening exchanges, with Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) also slotting themselves into the top 10. It set the tone for a session that saw plenty of changing inside the top 14.

Championship leader Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) found himself lingering outside the top 14 heading into the final 10 minutes, but the Andalucia and Czech GP race winner soon slotted into P10. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) was another who sat outside the top 14, but at just half a second off Lowes’ time, it’s not like he was slow… The Moto2™ class was once again proving just how competitive it is, with one second covering the top 24 riders in the final 10 minutes.

Gardner then made his move, launching himself into P2 to displace Martin, with Bastianini then improving again to go P4. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team) was a late mover into P7, with Marini then setting a personal best to go P4 as the chequered flag waved. Behind the leading three sits Marini who is just 0.143 back from Lowes, Bastianini in fifth is 0.161 off the British rider. Canet’s final lap dash sees the rookie sit P6, just ahead of Bezzecchi and Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge – the Spaniard going well in the latter stages to grab an automatic Q2 place.

Chantra claims P9 ahead of Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in P10, he and compatriot Martin were the only riders inside the top 10 who failed to go quicker in FP3. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Lüthi, Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) – a crasher at Turn 1 – and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) are the other riders to cement a Q2 place. Dixon also failed to improve his FP2 time that saw him sit fifth, with Nicolo Bulega’s (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) fastest time getting chalked off to allow Dixon to move up from P15 to P14 – vital for the British rider.

So after a hectic Moto2™ FP3 session, Lowes remains the man to beat heading into qualifying. Tune in to see how the intermediate class grid shapes up at 15:10 local time (GMT+2).

Top 10 combined:
1. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 1:28.877
2. Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) + 0.073
3. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.118
4. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.143
5. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.161
6. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team) + 0.226
7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.268
8. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.278
9. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.294
10. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.300

Click here for the full results!

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