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Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) topped the Moto2™ lap time charts on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, thanks to a 1:34.855 in FP1. Championship-chasing Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) was second, 0.025 seconds off Navarro as Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) – the quickest man in FP2 – claimed P3 in the top three split by just 0.038 seconds.
FP2 started with the two MB Conveyors Speed Up machines at the top of the tree. Di Giannantonio was leading Navarro, but we didn’t see much movement on the combined timesheets in the early stages. Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) then penetrated the top 10 as he and Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) soared to P1 and P2 in the session, the latter finding himself in recent familiar territory: P1.
As we witnessed in MotoGP™, there was drama for the Championship leader in FP2. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) slid out at Turn 6 in the early exchanges, the front of his Kalex tucked and there was no saving it for the Italian. He was perfectly ok, but it was a slight dent to his spirits.
His closest challenger Lowes was still fourth on the combined standings though, with Navarro remaining the man to beat with 20 minutes still left to go on Friday. Yet again, the times were incredibly tight as half a second covered the top 18, European Grand Prix podium finisher Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) was P18 overall. Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) then shot up into P7 as the Dutchman found himself less than two tenths away from Navarro’s P1 time that, with 10 minutes to go, was still untroubled.
Di Giannantonio then set his best lap of the weekend so far, but it was only fractions quicker than his FP1 time. The Italian was now just 0.038 shy of his teammate in P3, with second place Marini 16th fastest in FP2 with five minutes to go. Brushing off his crash, Bastianini shot up to P6 on the combined standings late on in the day, with Lowes then going slightly quicker than him in the session.
In the end, both Navarro and Marini’s FP1 times went unbeaten as they remain the top two at the end of Friday’s proceedings in Valencia. Despite an improved effort, Di Giannantonio stays P3 ahead of Lowes – those are the two riders who sat P1 and P2 in FP2. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) didn’t improve his time in the second session either and the German rider stays P5, with third fastest in FP2 Bastianini jumping from P9 to P6.
Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) joined Navarro, Marini, Lowes and Schrötter in not going quicker during the 40 minutes of track time this afternoon, the Spaniard is seventh heading into qualifying. Bendsneyder leaps to P8 from P13 as Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) close out the top 10. European GP winner Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) finishes P14 on Day 1, however, just three tenths split the Italian from Navarro – that’s how close it is in the intermediate class so far.
With a second splitting the fastest 24 riders, the fight for the automatic Moto2™ Q2 slots is going to be intense on Saturday morning. Make sure you don’t miss Moto2™ FP3 at 11:55 local time (GMT+1)!
Top 10 combined:
1. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) – 1:34.855
2. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.025
3. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.038
4. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.102
5. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.149
6. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.157
7. Hector Garzo (FlexBox HP40) + 0.193
8. Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) + 0.197
9. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.208
10. Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) + 0.221
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