Ramirez tops FP1, Championship top two left with work to do

The Spaniard tops the FP1 timesheets, with Di Giannantonio and Marini less than a tenth behind, Lowes and Bastianini outside the top 10

Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) was quickest during FP1 at the MEO Grand Prix of Portugal with the Spaniard’s 1:43.740 seeing him top the timesheets at the Algarve International Circuit. Only five riders could break the 1:44 barrier in the intermediate class’ first run out on the Portuguese track, with less than six-hundredths separating Ramirez from Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46), with the Italians completing the top 3.

Riders took their time in adapting to the circuit as Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) sat on P1 for the majority of the session, with he and Di Giannantonio were the only men to go under the 1:45 bracket in the early stages.

However, with 15 minutes remaining the pace of the session picked up with the likes of Aron Canet (Pull&Bear Team Moto2) and Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) getting themselves into the top three spots. However, Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) never got the chance to post a time attack as he went down at Turn 3.

P1 then exchanged hands multiple times in the closing stages, with Marini taking it first before Gardner fought back with a flat 1:44. The other Championship contenders then got in on the fun as Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) rode through the pain barrier to temporarily sit inside the top 3, while Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) both temporarily sat in P1 with little over three minutes remaining.

As the riders crossed the start/ finish line for their final laps, Di Giannantonio managed to take pole back from Gardner and he looked set to finish top until Ramirez’s last flying lap put him in P1 as he took the chequered flag.

Further time attacks from the rest of the field meant there was a lot of change inside the Top 10, which was bad news for Lowes and Bastianini as they dropped to P11 and P14 respectively.

The intermediate class will be back on the track at 15:25 (GMT+0) on Friday afternoon.

Top 10:
 1. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) – 1:43.740
 2. Fabio Di Giannantonio (BETA Tools Speed Up) + 0.010
 3. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.059
 4. Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) + 0.141
 5. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.179
 6. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.271
 7. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.290
 8. Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) + 0.438
 9. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.539
 10. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.579


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