It’s a Petronas Sprinta Racing one-two at the close of Free Practice Friday in Moto3™ at the close of the Michelin® Grand Prix of Styria. Darryn Binder leads teammate John McPhee on the timesheets by just 0.040 of a second thanks to a 1:36.809, while Sergio Garcia (Santander Consumer Bank GasGas Aspar) completes the top 3.
Weather plays its part
Binder trailed Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) at the top of the timesheets for the majority of the afternoon session, which took some time to get going, with both riders posting some early improvements on their FP1 times. As the clock ticked down around the 10 minute mark, the rain flags were waved as a light drizzle dusted across the track, interrupting riders’ hopes of improving their times. Eventually, we saw some change at the top of the timesheets with Garcia knocking Fenati out of P1, before Binder and McPhee made it a Petronas one-two, and that’s the way it stayed even with time remaining.
The top 10
Following the late changes, Fenati slipped to P4 with Dennis Foggia hot on his tail. The Leopard Racing rider looked like he could potentially threaten the top two as he was a tenth under after sector two on his final lap, but time lost in the second half of the track meant it wasn’t to be.
Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers) recorded his best lap late on to move into the top 6, benefitting from Ayumu Sasaki’s fastest lap being cancelled. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia VR46) showed few ill effects from his morning crash to take P7 for the day, leading Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Filip Salac (Car Xpert Pruestel GP) and Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer Bank GasGas Aspar), who round out the top 10.
What to look out for in FP3?
Some big names in the lightweight class are at risk of missing out on the coveted Q2 spots, with Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) not safe yet as takes P11 on the timesheets. Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power), Gabriel Rodrigo and Jeremy Alcoba (both Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) are among a number of riders who sit outside the Q2 places, and they'll be hoping the rain will hold off on Saturday morning.
Top 10 combined:
1. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) – 1:36.809
2. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.040
3. Sergio Garcia (Santander Consumer Bank GasGas Aspar) + 0.057
4. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.125
5. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Team) + 0.131
6. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.269
7. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia VR46) + 0.302
8. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.326
9. Filip Salac (Car Xpert Pruestel) + 0.335
10. Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer Bank GasGas Aspar) + 0.377