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Lowes leads windy and dusty FP3, Fernandez keeps top spot

The times on Saturday afternoon were well down on FP2 as the automatic Q2 places are set, with the rookie leading the way

Howling wind and plenty of dust caused the Moto2™ riders to endure a tough FP3 session at the Tissot Grand Prix of Doha, with FP3 pacesetter Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) over two seconds off Raul Fernandez’s (Red Bull KTM Ajo) FP2 pace. The latter heads the intermediate class field into qualifying thanks to a 1:58.541 in FP2, half a second clear of second place Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and six tenths ahead of Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo).

Conditions were awful in FP3 and, unsurprisingly, none of the riders improved. This means the top 14 and automatic Q2 places have been decided on the FP2 timesheets, which sees Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) complete the top five. Two rookies sit inside the top six because Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) continues to shine on a Moto2™ bike, the Japanese rider is one place ahead of World Championship leader Lowes.

Another rookie then appears on the times in the form of Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), another great job from the Italian, who sits ahead of two experienced intermediate class runners: Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).

Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP40), Aron Canet (Solunion Aspar Team), Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and American rookie Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) are the other riders  to safely make it into the Q2 shootout, meaning some big names miss out.

Qatar GP’s seventh place finisher Jake Dixon and Petronas Sprinta Racing teammate Xavi Vierge will compete in Q1, as will last week’s front row starter Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), his teammate Tom Lüthi, Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and more.

Tune into Moto2™ qualifying at 18:25 local time (GMT+3).

Top 10 combined:
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:58.541
2. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.517
3. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.647
4. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.667
5. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.672
6. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.702
7. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.724
8. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.774
9. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.821
10. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 1.066

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