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Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) extended his advantage to 0.229 in Moto2™ FP3 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya thanks to a 1:43.523, seeing the British rider finish ahead of Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) and Championship leader Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) ahead of qualifying.
As we’re accustomed to seeing in the intermediate class, there were plenty of improvements early on in the session. Marini closed Lowes’ advantage down to less than two tenths before Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) and Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) exchanged fastest lap times – two tenths quicker than the riders went on Friday. Marini then went back up to P2 before the Italian eventually took top spot in FP3, with Lowes improving his Friday time to slot into P2 behind Marini.
However, Lowes would find plenty of extra pace in the closing stages of FP3. The Emilia Romagna GP podium finisher went top by 0.170 before class rookie Ramirez went P2 ahead of Marini. On his next flying lap, Lowes moved the goalposts again to sit 0.229 clear of his competitors heading into qualifying – with FP3 seeing a lot of crashes at Turn 2.
Championship challenger Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) was one of those to go down at the left-hander late in the session, Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) slid into the gravel trap not long after the Italian. Earlier in the session, third in the Championship Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) was down at Turn 2, with Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up), Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40), Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) and Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) sliding out unhurt as the riders struggled to get temperature into the tyres.
Finishing behind the top three at the end of Barcelona Free Practice was Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) – the Italian half a tenth away from Marini. The returning Martin had a good Saturday morning session to complete the top five, FP2 pacesetter Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) sits 0.357 off Lowes in P6. Bezzecchi, Gardner, Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top 10, with Bastianini 11th.
Moto2™ qualifying kicks off at 15:10 local time (GMT+2) – tune in!
Top 10 combined:
1. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 1:43.523
2. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) + 0.229
3. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.242
4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) + 0.292
5. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.330
6. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.357
7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.359
8. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.385
9. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.453
10. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.600
Click here for the full results!
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