Marini breaks Moto2™ lap record to claim Friday top spot

The San Marino GP race winner ousts Canet on his final lap to be the only rider to set a 1:35 lap time on Friday

San Marino GP race winner Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) picked up where he left off at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli by setting a new lap record in Moto2™ FP2 at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini. The Italian set a 1:35.956 on his final lap of the day to get the better of Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) by 0.090 seconds, with Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) completing the top three on Day 1.

Marini’s teammate Marco Bezzecchi finished P9 in FP1 but was soon at the top of the standings early in the afternoon session. A 1:36.2 for the Italian was half a second quicker than anyone to begin with but Bezzecchi then crashed at Turn 6, thankfully unhurt, which temporarily put a halt to his session. In the meantime, Schrötter took over at the top with quick times being posted early in FP2, the German making great strides from his 10th place finish from FP1. In the early stages, 16th in FP1 and reigning Moto3™ World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) was up to P6.

With 24 minutes to go, Marini was then up to P2. Schrötter then crashed at Turn 4 to put a damper on his solid first day at the Emilia Romagna GP – rider ok. Tennor American Racing’s Joe Roberts finished 14th in FP1 but the American rider shot up to P4 in the latter stages of FP2, before Canet – following Marini – took over at the summit. The rookie sensation set a 1:36.046 – half a second quicker than he went in the morning – to lead the way, but Marini soon responded. On his final flying lap of the day, the Championship leader laid down the gauntlet to set a new lap record.

That 1:35.956 sees Marini as the man to beat heading into qualifying day, with Canet on his tale in P2 – the Spaniard climbs six places in the afternoon. Despite the crash, Schrötter enjoys a good day to finish inside the top three, with the old lap record holder Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) looking on form once again. The British rider finished 3rd in FP1 and ends the day 4th overall, a great day for the number 22. Roberts’ late lap sees the Brno podium finisher complete the top five, with FP1 pacesetter Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) slipping to P6 after failing to improve his morning time. Bezzecchi ends the day seventh and will be thankful he’s not feeling the effects of his crash at Turn 6 – the Italian will be aiming to join teammate Marini at the top ahead of qualifying.

Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) moves up three places from P11 to P8 from the morning to the afternoon, the Spaniard just 0.361 away from Marini’s pace. Ninth overall went the way of Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) who slips from P2 in FP1, the Swiss rider didn’t go quicker in FP2. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) did go quicker in FP2 though, the Spaniard found half a second and recovered from a crash in FP1 to complete the top 10.

Marini reigns on Friday in the intermediate class, but it’s tight. Seven tenths cover the top 19 riders and everyone will be hoping to hit the ground running on Saturday morning, when the top 14 and automatic Q2 places will be decided. Tune in for FP3 at 10:55 (GMT+2).

Top 10 combined:
1. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) – 1:35.956
2. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.090
3. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.201
4. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.205
5. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) + 0.295
6. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.306
7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.328
8. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.361
9. Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.477
10. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 0.511

Click here for the full results!

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