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12 days ago
By motogp.com

Gardner takes Moto2™ FP3 top spot in jaw-dropping style

The Australian's all-action riding style coupled with Portimao makes for some quite sensational viewing

ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team's Remy Gardner is the man to beat in the Moto2™ class at the Grande Prémio MEO de Portugal after setting a stunning lap in FP3. The Australian's all-action style coupled with the undulations of Portimao make for breathtaking viewing as the 22-year-old from Sydney jumped to the top of the combined timesheets by over two tenths of a second from Championship contender Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46).

Saturday morning's session went swimmingly for two of the title contenders with Marini in second and points leader Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) easing through to Q2 in ninth. However, it went disastrously for the other two. SKY Racing Team VR46's Marco Bezzecchi will have to fight it out of Q1 after narrowly missing out on an automatic Q2 place in 15th, whilst Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) crashed out in the final moments of FP3.

The Briton was heard uttering to his team on his way back to the garage that the wrist injury that blighted his Valencia Grand Prix is continuing to cause him a worrying amount of issues and discomfort.

At the top of the timesheets, though, it's Gardner who leads the field into qualifying after wheeling his way across the line to set the fastest of the weekend so far - a 1:42.728. Marini's FP2 time enough to hand him second place ahead of podium man last time out, FlexBox HP40's Hector Garzo. Completing the top five were Tennor American Racing's Marcos Ramirez, who had a scary moment of his own whilst pushing late on, and Lowes thanks to his FP2 lap.

Just four tenths adrift in sixth spot is Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) and, with the times incredibly tight, Aron Canet (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS9 and then Bastianini were less than a tenth away from the Italian in seventh, eighth and ninth. The final place inside the top ten went the way of Petronas Sprinta Racing's Xavi Vierge.

Tune in for Moto2™ qualifying at 15:10 local time (GMT+0).

Top 10 combined:
 1. Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) – 1:42.728
 2. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.213
 3. Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) + 0.316
 4. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) + 0.379
 5. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.395
 6. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) + 0.411
 7. Aron Canet (Pull&Bear Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.477
 8. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.478
 9. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.482
 10. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.556

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