Nakagami rules Day 1 in Misano

Japanese rider remains top as FP2 concludes on the Riviera di Rimini

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) went fastest on Friday at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, after proving the quickest man on track in FP1 and retaining the momentum to top FP2; keeping the top spot by the end of the day. Reigning champion and points leader Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) was second quickest, with Lorenzo Baldassari (Forward Racing) proving the top Italian in P3.

Nakagami, who won his first race in the Dutch GP earlier in the year, has a great record at Misano World Circuit and will be looking to chase his second GP win of the season. With the championship so close at the top, contenders for the win who find themselves slightly further down the leader board could play a big role in the remainder of the season, and Nakagami staked his claim once again as a Moto2™ frontrunner.

Zarco is another whose record at Misano makes for impressive reading, including the victory in 2015 on his way to the title, and the Frenchman faced down Day 1 of his pivotal weekend well with the second fastest time of the day. The gap at the top is now only ten points between Zarco and closest challenger Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40), with Rins also having a good start to the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini in P4 on Friday. Fellow championship frontrunner Sam Lowes (Gresini Racing Moto2) had a more difficult day 1 at Misano, as the Brit was P12 on the timesheets by the end of FP2.

Lorenzo Baldassari (Forward Racing) put in a last dash in FP2 to take P3, with Silverstone winner Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) completing the top five in a solid first day of action in Misano. Jonas Folger made good on morning promise to end the day in P6 as the fastest Intact Dynavolt GP rider, with Simone Corsi the second home hero on the timesheets for Speed Up Racing. His compatriot Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was eighth fastest on Day 1, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP). Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top ten on Friday at his home circuit of Misano, with teammate Alex Marquez ending the day in P13.

Moto2™ wil follow MotoGP™ out on track on Saturday for FP3, before the intermediate class go into qualifying for the San Marino GP at 15:05 local time (GMT+2).