Suzuki sets the pace to end Friday on top

Japanese rider edges out wildcard Zannoni and Arbolino in Moto3™ FP2 at Mugello

SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki took top spot honours in the Moto3™ class at the end of play on Friday at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley after setting a 1:57.467 in FP2, the Japanese rider beating Italian wildcard Kevin Zannoni (RGR TM Official Team) by less than a tenth with fellow Italian Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) completing the top three, under 0.1 also splits him from Suzuki in a tightly contested session. 

It was Arbolino’s teammate Romano Fenati who set the early pace with the first 1:57 of the weekend in the lightweight class, but not all the riders were improving from their morning times. That was until the final eight minutes of FP2, with all but four of the riders improving their best laps in the afternoon session.

Suzuki’s table-topping time was 1.6 seconds quicker than he went in the morning, with second place Zannoni going great guns at Mugello to go over two seconds faster. It was a similar story for Arbolino who also went over a second quicker in FP2, with FP1 pacesetter Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) ending Friday fourth fastest. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) consolidates a top-five place at Mugello after finishing third in FP1, the Scotsman 0.181 off Suzuki’s time, with Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo ending the day sixth after a P2 finish in FP1 – a good day for the Argentine rider.

Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Ayumu Sasaki went nearly two seconds quicker in the hotter afternoon session to end seventh on the combined times, the Japanese rider finished 21st in FP1, with Leopard Racing’s Marcos Ramirez making a good jump from 16th in FP1 to 8th at the end of Free Practice Friday. Long-time FP2 leader Fenati and Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) round out the top ten in the Moto3™ class at Mugello.

Second in the Championship Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) crashed unhurt at Turn 9 in the session, the Italian eventually finishing 14th overall on Friday.

The provisional top 14 has been decided in the Moto3™ class, but will there be any improvements on Saturday morning as the riders try and secure an automatic Q2 place? Find out at 09:00 local time (GMT+2).

Top 10 combined:
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
2. Kevin Zannoni (RGR TM Official Team) + 0.039
3. Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) + 0.047
4. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.073
5. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.181
6. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.224
7. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.242
8. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 0.284
9. Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) + 0.327
10. Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) + 0.403

Click here for the full results!

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