Red Bull KTM Ajo's Raul Fernandez found a stunning late lap in Moto3™ FP1 at the Tissot Emilia Romagna and Rimini Riviera Grand Prix to top the opening lightweight class session of the weekend. The Spaniard's 1:41.962 was half a second quicker than Ai Ogura's (Honda Team Asia) pole position lap time last weekend and just a fraction away from Jorge Martin's outright lap record of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Kömmerling Gresini Moto3's Jeremy Alcoba held provisional top spot with less than five minutes remaining before his compatriot went 0.164 seconds quicker. However, after finishing in a career best fourth last time out, the reigning Junior Moto3™ World Champion looks like challenging for a podium this weekend.
Leopard Racing's Dennis Foggia was within two tenths of Fernandez in third, with both Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46) a quarter of a second back in fourth and fifth.
Leopard Racing's Jaume Masia had a scary moment early on but eventually found some rhythm to go sixth on the timesheets. Both Filip Salac (Rivacold Snipers Team) and World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) were the final two men to go under Ogura's pole lap from the San Marino Grand Prix, meaning the top eight all managed to lap quicker.
Completing the top ten was Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power), fresh from signing a 2021 deal with Petronas Sprinta Racing and Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), also fresh from signing a 2021 extension with the French outfit.
Talking of signing with Red Bull KTM Tech 3 for a further year, Sasaki's teammate Deniz Öncü didn't celebrate his new contract in the best fashion with two crashes during FP1: the first at Turn 9 and the second at Turn 6. SIC58 Squadra Corse's Tatsuki Suzuki also crashed out late in the session at Turn 4.
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:41.962
2. Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.164
3. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.190
4. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.250
5. Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.262
6. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) + 0.284
7. Filip Salac (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.427
8. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) + 0.438
9. Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) + 0.500
10. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.509