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16 hours ago
By motogp.com

MotorLand master Lowes lays down early Teruel gauntlet

The Aragon GP winner was hunted closely by Navarro on Friday as FP2 sees two red flag stoppages

After EG 0,0 Marc VDS teammate Augusto Fernandez topped the times in FP1 at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly Teruel, Sam Lowes took turn to be the rider to beat as the Aragon GP winner ends Friday sitting pretty on top of the pile. The man second in the Championship is 0.058 ahead of Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) thanks to a 1:51.920 in the afternoon session, Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) rounds out the top three.

Almost immediately in FP2, Lowes went six tenths quicker than his teammate did in FP1 and then on his next lap, the British rider was fastest again. Lowes was lightning out the box FP2 and so was Edgar Pons, the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 rider was 14th in FP1 but found himself P2 behind Lowes in the early stages as – as we normally see – the intermediate class were able to find time early on Friday afternoon.

After a good start to the session, Pons then crashed at Turn 8 and subsequently, his Kalex-Triumph slid through the gravel, down the hill and back onto the track at the Turn 9 apex. Thankfully the oncoming riders avoided the stricken bike but with debris on the circuit, the session was briefly red-flagged with just under 25 minutes to go. Then, once the riders re-emerged, Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) crashed at Turn 3 – rider ok. No need for a red flag this time as Lowes sat 0.2 clear of the pack at the front, with Garzo and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) inside the top three.

A very strong session was then slightly tainted for Lowes. He too crashed in almost identical circumstances to Pons and once more, the red flags came out in FP2. With nine minutes remaining, the green flags were waved and in the final stages, Navarro was able to cut Lowes’ advantage down to less than a tenth. Then, on his final flying lap, Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went P3 but Fabio Di Giannantonio (Lightech Speed Up) and Garzo would beat the Spaniard’s time, as would Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing).

Despite the crash, Lowes again looks in brutal form at MotorLand with a P2 and P1 finish on Friday. Navarro sits as Lowes’ closest rival, the Spaniard jumps up to P2 from his P9 result in FP1 on another positive day for the Speed Up riders. Garzo leaps up to P3 from P13 to continue his impressive run of form, Di Giannantonio slips a place from his third in FP1 to claim P4 on Day 1 in Teruel. Roberts takes a double P5 in Teruel as the American ends Friday 0.290 off Lowes, Martin is 0.415 back in P6. Dixon drops to P7 from his P4 in FP1 but nevertheless, another solid day for the British rider as Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team), Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Pons round out the top 10.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) was another rider who crashed in FP2 – rider ok.

Can anyone stop Lowes ahead of qualifying? Find out at 11:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday morning.

Top 10 combined:
1. Sam Lowes (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) – 1:51.920
2. Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) +0.058
3. Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP40) +0.260
4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Lightech Speed Up) +0.289
5. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) +0.290
6. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.415
7. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) +0.419
8. Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) +0.428
9. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) +0.581
10. Edgar Pons (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) +0.614

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