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A 1:44.122 set in FP1 sees Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) sit top of the Moto2™ combined timesheets after the opening day of action at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. Championship leader Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) keeps P2 thanks to his Friday morning time, with FP2 pacesetter Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) jumping up to P3 on the combined times to sit 0.409 off Lowes on Day 1.
Conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya were windy in the afternoon sunshine, which didn’t help the Moto2™ riders when they went in search for time improvements from FP1. No one was able to go quicker in the opening half of the session, which was led by 12th place overall Schrötter from Lowes – the Friday morning man to beat. The times were over a second off Lowes’ fastest FP1 time though, proof of how the intermediate class were finding the going quite tough.
Turn 2 caught out a couple of riders heading into the final 10 minutes in quick succession. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) – 11th in FP1 – was down at the left hander, before injured Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) crashed identically a minute later – thankfully both riders walked away. At the same time, Schrötter was finding time. The German and teammate Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) were the only two riders to have found time in FP2 alongside Piotr Biesiekirski (NTS RW Racing GP), with Schrötter rising to P10 overall – and going quicker.
Fabio Di Giannantono (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) finished P5 in FP1 and the Italian was then top of FP2, before Schrötter reclaimed FP2 top spot as the latter went to P3 on the overall times, with ‘Diggia’ sitting P4. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) also found some late speed to rise into the top 10 on the combined times after a P16 finish on Friday morning, with these three riders the only ones to go quicker in the afternoon inside the top 10.
No one could beat Lowes or Marini though, the Brit and Italian sit P1 and P2 heading into Saturday’s action despite finishing P10 and P14 in FP2 respectively. Schrötter’s solid performance in the second session of the weekend sees him rise to P3 from P12, Di Giannantonio leapfrogs Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in the combined standings to move up to 4th, the Japanese rider demoted to P5. Behind Nagashima sits Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) and Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) – none of these riders improving their FP1 times – with Vierge jumping ahead of compatriots Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in the top 10.
Martin claims P9 on his return after missing the two Misano battles with COVID-19, the Spaniard hoping he can get himself back into the title frame with a strong result on home soil. Second in the Championship Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) finished P12 on Friday, behind 11th place Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) – the Dutch rider having an impressive opening day in Catalonia.
Hopefully the wind will have dropped in Barcelona for Moto2™ FP3, where the riders can try and keep or penetrate top 14 places ahead of qualifying. Tune in for the third intermediate class session of the weekend at 10:55 local time (GMT+2).
1. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 1:44.122
2. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.200
3. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.409
4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) + 0.475
5. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.508
6. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.515
7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.643
8. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.678
9. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.734
10. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.736
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