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21 hours ago
By motogp.com

Fernandez bounces back on Day 1 as rain disrupts FP2

The Spaniard sits 0.8s clear on Friday as the afternoon stint gets red-flagged due to a heavy rain shower

Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will head into Saturday’s action 0.828s clear of the pack after his 2:06.816 in Moto2™ FP1 remained untouched in FP2, as the afternoon session was red-flagged due to heavy rainfall at the PETRONAS Grand Prix of Malaysia. Pedro Acosta made it a Red Bull KTM Ajo 1-2 on Day 1, the Spaniard was the only rider within a second of Fernandez, with Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completing the top three.

Heavy rainfall sees Fernandez dominate Day 1

Moto2™ FP2 hadn’t long been in full flow when the dark clouds rolled in – and with it came the rain. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) crashed unhurt while limping back to pitlane on slick tyres, with plenty of riders having off-track excursions, including Fernandez. This time though, unlike in FP1, the man second in the title chase didn’t hit the deck.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t just a light shower. The downpour was substantial as silence fell around the Sepang International Circuit with the field sitting patiently in pitlane, before the red flags were shown to bring a halt to Moto2™ FP2. After a lengthy delay, the session did get back underway for the final 22 minutes as some valuable wet weather running was pocketed, but it made no difference to the timesheets.

A few changes in the Top 10 from FP1

In the limited running they got in the afternoon, three riders improved their times in the top 10. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team) ended FP2 at the summit and is P4 on the combined timesheets ahead of World Championship leader Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in P5. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) was another improver, the German is P6 with Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) – a crasher in the wet – and Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools Speed Up) occupying the remainder of the top 10, the latter the final improver inside the top 10. 

Tune into Moto2™ FP3 to see if anything changes ahead of qualifying. 

Top 10 combined:
1. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 2:06.816
2. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.828
3. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 1.051
4. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team) + 1.063
5. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 1.122
6. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 1.277
7. Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) + 1.300
8. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 1.375
9. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) + 1.474
10. Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 1.488

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