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30 days ago
By motogp.com

Fernandez sets the pace in FP1

The World Championship leader comes out on top after the opening session in Thailand

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez has clocked the fastest lap in Moto2™ FP1 at the OR Thailand Grand Prix. Rain might not quite have given way to sunshine at the Chang International Circuit just yet, but with the showers having stopped earlier in the morning, the track had dried out enough for an early switch to slicks during the session. The fastest lap therefore fell and fell and fell until World Championship leader Fernandez punched out a 1:36.806 shortly before the chequered flag.

Thai rider Somkiat Chantra was fastest for much of the 40-minute session and the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider would ultimately be classified second at just 0.032 seconds off the pace on a 1:36.838, with the Inde GASGAS Aspar Team’s Jake Dixon slightly slower again in third on a 1:36.875. Fourth went to the rider who is second in the Championship, and won five days ago at the Japanese GP, namely Idemitsu Honda team Asia’s Ai Ogura on a 1:37.083. Filip Salac (Gresini Racing Moto2™) completed the top five.

Aron Canet was among the first to swap from wets to slicks and that meant he pushed everyone beyond the 105% qualifying cut-off for a period of time. However, a crash at Turn 4 saw his Flexbox HP40 machine tumble down the road and Canet himself – who was able to walk away from the spill – slipped to 24th on the timing screen by the end of the session. It was also a character-building morning for the Beta Tools Speed Up squad, with Fermin Aldeguer nearly highsiding on a puddle in pit lane, of all places, when he went out on slicks for the first time, while Alonso Lopez lost significant track time due to a technical problem. They would be classified 18th and 21st respectively, outside the top 14 cut-off for Q2 with uncertain weather ahead.

The Moto2™ field is back out on the Buriram track later this Friday at 14:10 (GMT +7) – tune in then!

Moto2™ FP1 Top 10

1. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:36.806
2. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.032
3. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.037
4. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.277
5. Filip Salac (Gresini Racing Moto2) + 0.427
6. Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.428
7. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.468
8. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.474
9. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.521
10. Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.631

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