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2 days ago
By motogp.com

Gardner fastest, but he can't topple Bezzecchi

The Australian set the fastest lap in Moto2™ FP2, but he was unable to remove the VR46 rider from top spot on the combined timesheets

Championship leader Remy Gardner took advantage of the drying conditions at the Red Bull Ring to finish Moto2™ FP2 fastest at the Michelin® Grand Prix of Styria. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s 1:29.244 wasn’t enough to take top spot on the combined timesheets, with that honour belonging to Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46), but it does push the Aussie into third.

Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and Thomas Luthi (Pertamina Mandalike SAG Team) also put in strong afternoon performances to finish in the top three for the session, and move into the top six overall.

Making hay while the sun shines

Damp on track conditions meant a number of riders struggled to better their morning times, but as the skies cleared and the sun made a welcome return overhead, Aussie Gardner took advantage to post the quickest time of the session with just four minutes remaining. It’s a time that wouldn’t be bettered as a mixture of tricky conditions and a series of late yellow flags meant it was difficult to attempt a time attack. 

The top 10

Along with Bezzecchi, Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) maintains his standing ahead of Gardner in the top three, while Aron Canet in P5 is sandwiched by two FP2 improvers in Lowes and Luthi. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) leads rookies Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo), none of whom posted a faster lap time in FP2. Fellow rookie Celestino Vietti (SKY Team Racing VR46) did manage to improve, however, and he completes the top 10 for the day.

The afternoon’s fallers

Simone Corsi (MV Augusta Racing) was the first faller in the intermediate class’ afternoon session, downing at turn 4. The tricky turn 1 claimed a couple of victims also, with Bezzecchi crashing at the mid-way point and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalike SAG Team) also finding himself in the gravel there in the closing stages.

Canet was aiming to set his fastest lap of the session and challenge those above his then P4 position when he crashed at turn 9, a corner that also caught out Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) and Hafizh Syahrin (NTS RW Racing GP).

The intermediate class will have one last chance to better their work from today, with FP3 starting on Saturday morning at 10:55am (CET). 

Top 10 combined:
 
1. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) – 1:29.115
2. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.080
3. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.129
4. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.236
5. Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.248
6. Thomas Luthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) + 0.259
7. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Itlatrans Racing Team) + 0.283
8. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.326
9. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.346
10. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.414

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