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The Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland saw Moto2™ World Championship action take to the Sachsenring circuit under sunny skies for their third and final Free Practice session. With times tumbling at both the start and at the end of the session, it was Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who clinched top spot ahead of teammate Raul Fernandez and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), with the latter two coming on strong and improving their times right at the end of the session.
THE Q2 PARTICIPANTS: welcome surprises
Continuing on his stunning form, Remy Gardner just kept on impressing in Moto2™ FP3, as the Australian was once again the rider to beat with the fastest lap of the weekend. Gardner’s teammate, Raul Fernandez, was second and once again in contention, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) in third. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was once again impressive, but it was Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) who provided the surprise of the morning in fifth. The Spaniard was ahead of fellow countryman Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) in sixth after being inside the top three on Friday. Local hero Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) was seventh.
It was an impressive display from Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia), just over half a second behind the top time set my Gardner, whilst it was a welcome return to form for Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing), with the British rider improving massively in FP3 to break back into the top ten and to go straight into Q2. With just under seven minutes to go, Jorge Navarro (+EGO Speed Up) slotted into tenth place, whilst Thailand’s Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia), Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).
NOT ALL EASY: outside the top 14…
The two biggest names not moving into Q2 directly are Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) in 15th on combined times, and Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46), who had a nightmare FP3 which saw him way down the order in 18th. Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) was unfortunate, having occupied 14th for a long time until Bulega pushed him out. There were also problems for Cameron Beaubier (American Racing), as he crashed at Turn 1, ending the session outside the top 20 in 27th.
Moto2™ Q1 kicks off at 15:10 local time (GMT+2), where battles and rivalries will ignite for pole!
Top 10 combined:
1. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1’24.003
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.118
3. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) +0.180
4. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) +0.290
5. Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) +0.394
6. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.492
7. Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) +0.556
8. Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) +0.574
9. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) +0.609
10. Jorge Navarro (+EGO Speed Up) +0.616
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