Gardner sets the pace in Portimao, Acosta tops Moto3™ times

New Moto2™ Red Bull KTM Ajo recruit was the only rider to dip into the 1:42s on the second day of private testing in Portugal

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Remy Gardner set the pace on the second day of private testing at Portimao’s Algarve International Circuit, as the Australian set the only 1:42 lap time of the day. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) was second quickest, three tenths off Gardner, with Jorge Navarro (Speed Up Racing) third on Wednesday.

The 1:42.962 time from Gardner was less than half a second shy than his own pole position time in last November’s Portuguese Grand Prix, and ahead of the 2021 showdown at the rollercoaster in mid-April, Gardner is looking in fantastic shape in his new colours. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was fifth fastest as a whole host of Moto2™ riders and teams got some vital laps under their belts before the Official Qatar Test later this month.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), fastest rookie Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) were next on the timesheets, the 2020 Moto3™ runner-up finished less than a second away from Gardner’s time. Cameron Beaubier (Tennor American Racing) finished ahead of teammate Marcos Ramirez, while Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46), Hector Garzo (Pons HP40), his teammate Stefano Manzi, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team), Yari Montella (Speed Up Racing), Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), Somkiat Chantra and Honda Team Asia teammate Ai Ogura completed the intermediate class runners.

A host of Moto3™ riders were also lapping in Portimao. Grand Prix rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was the man to beat on the second day as he and John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) were split by just 0.054, with Day 1 pacesetter Andrea Migno (Snipers Team) third quickest.

Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3), Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) were also in action and inside the top seven, with Filip Salac (Snipers Team), Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), his teammate Ayumu Sasaki, Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia), Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) and his stablemate Max Kofler on track as well in the lightweight class.

The likes of Marc VDS and Aspar Team have been in Valencia spinning laps as every rider and team gear up for the Qatar Test and Qatar Grand Prix that kick off later this month. Anticipation is now building ahead of the start of the season as riders bed themselves in for 2021.

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