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A 1:36.933 for Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) hands the Italian Day 1 top spot in the Moto2™ class at the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. The Championship contender managed to get the better of FP1 pacesetter Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in the latter stages of the afternoon session, with Augusto Fernandez making it two EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ inside the top three.
There was plenty of improvements in the opening exchanges of FP2 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli but with 20 minutes of the session gone, Lowes and third place in FP1 Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) were the only ones who were yet to go quicker, with the top 21 split by 0.999 halfway through FP2 – as close as you like. Lowes’ advantage at the top had been slashed from over two tenths to less than a tenth by teammate Fernandez, as Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) crashed unhurt at Turn 14.
Lowes was then the first man to dip into the 1:36s with little time remaining on the opening day, that was after Fernandez had gone three tenths quicker than the Briton – but his lap time was cancelled. Fernandez then improved on his next lap time to go back within a tenth of Lowes, with Italians Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (+Ego Speed Up) going into third and fourth respectively.
After finishing FP1 in fifth place, Bastianini then made his move. ‘The Beast’ beat Lowes’ time by 0.059 with just under two minutes to go to sit top – and he stayed there. The top two head into Saturday under a tenth apart, Fernandez’ third was a good improvement from P9 in FP1 to see the Spaniard 0.115 off Bastianini. Bulega claims fourth to see him pick up two top 10s on Friday at his home race.
World Championship leader Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) finished second to Lowes in FP1 but the Italian slipped to P5 overall at the end of play. Marini got the better of Di Giannantonio on his final flying lap to demote the Speed Up rider down to P6, with Bezzecchi claiming P7 on Day 1 after finishing P3 in FP1.
The returning Hafizh Syahrin (Oceanica Aspar Team Moto2) had a great day to finish eighth overall, the Malaysian still feeling the effects of his horror Austrian GP crash. Jorge Navarro made it two +Ego Speed Up bikes inside the top 10 in ninth, with Schrötter taking P10 despite two crashes on Day 1 at Misano.
‘The Beast’ was awoken in FP2 after a quiet weekend in Styria, but will the title contender hold his advantage on Saturday? Find out when the Moto2™ riders head out for FP3 at 10:55 (GMT+2) as Q1 and Q2 places will be confirmed.
Top 10 combined:
1. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) – 1:36.933
2. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.059
3. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.115
4. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.248
5. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.278
6. Fabio Di Giannantonio (+Ego Speed Up) + 0.310
7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.412
8. Hafizh Syahrin (Oceanica Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.532
9. Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) + 0.541
10. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.577
Click here for the full results!
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