Oliveira on top in Texas

Friday practice at COTA belonged to the number 44, with Lowes in close pursuit

As the times tumbled from FP1, Miguel Oliveira continued his perfect start to the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas as the Portuguese rider consolidated his place at the top of the standings in FP2 with a 2:11.104 to go fastest overall. Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) put in his best lap at the end of the session to finish the day in P2 and just 0.021 was the gap splitting the two KTM riders at the front.

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was a close third on the combined times, the Spaniard also improving his time late on to get within 0.069 seconds of Oliveira’s time – a good day for the number 73, who ended both sessions less than a tenth off the top. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was also right in the hunt throughout, setting his best time mid-way through FP2 and ending the day P4 – could a front row start be on the cards for the 2016 Moto3™ World Champion?

The ever impressive and improving rookie Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) leaped into fifth position on his last lap of the day – his time just 0.346 seconds off provisional pole. Below the Spaniard, sixth to tenth on the combined times were split by less than a tenth of a second. Isaac Viñales (SAG Team) was a solid sixth, with Swiss Innovative Investors rider Iker Lucuona seventh, Hector Barbera (Pons HP 40) eighth, Championship leader Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) ninth after mechanical problems in FP1 and Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) rounding out the top ten.

Championship protagonists Franceso Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) were 12th and 13th respectively, and will be looking to move forward on Saturday

There were two crashes late on for both the Tech 3 Racing riders, with Bo Bendsneyder and Remy Gardner falling but both riders were ok.

With the times as close as they are, be sure to tune into the Moto2™ action tomorrow, starting with FP3 at 10:55 local time, with qualifying getting underway at 15:05 local time (GMT -5).

Click here to see the full classification of results.