Despite delays and a Red Flag, the final session of the opening day at the Sachsenring for the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland saw the Moto2™ World Championship field hit the track for the last time on Friday. The session was initially delayed due to what seemed to be a small twister which left debris at Turn 11, whilst the session was then stopped after more debris was left scattered on the front straight. Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was in fine form as he leads the way into Saturday ahead of teammate and title rival Raul Fernandez, whilst Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was third with plenty of changes throughout the order in the closing stages.
THE TOP 10: all to play for at the front
Gardner was inside the top three for most of the session before leaping up the order to first with just over six minutes to go with a 1’24.197, some 0.339s quicker than Raul Fernandez, who enhances the Red Bull KTM Ajo team’s chances ahead of the weekend. Celebrating his new MotoGP™ contract with a top three on Friday, Fabio Di Giannantonio looked in good form as he continued improving right until the end of the session. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) set his fastest lap very early on, on Lap 3 of his session before crashing with less than five minutes to go. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was a solid fifth on combined times, impressing once again as he goes in pursuit of his first back-to-back podiums of his career, having ended his two-and-a-half-year wait.
Continuing to show some kind of strong form was Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), sixth overall ahead of the first non-Kalex rider in the field, Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing), who historically has had good showings at the Sachsenring, with two Moto2™ podiums in years gone by. Eighth place was home-hero Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), recovering after his FP1 crash; rookie teammate Tony Arbolino was a solid ninth, also after a morning crash, whilst Switzerland’s Tom Luthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) rounded out the top ten.
THE REMAINING PROVISIONAL Q2 PARTICIPANTS
Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) was 11th ahead of Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2) and Jorge Navarro (+EGO Speed Up), whilst it was a tricky opening first day for Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46), who languishing in 14th overall having suffered a run-off at Turn 1 in Free Practice 2 in the afternoon.
OUTSIDERS AND ADDITIONAL STORIES
After a strong showing in FP1, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) was left in 15th overall on day one, whilst teammate Joe Roberts had a fairly subdued day just one place behind; both aim to break into the direct places for Q2 in FP3 on Saturday morning. Fermin Aldeguer (+EGO Speed Up) suffered two crashes at Turn 1 within minutes of each other, making for a miserable Friday for the young Spanish sensation.
Moto2™ FP3 will kick-off at 10:55am local time (GMT+2), so make sure you don’t miss out!
Top 10 of Moto2™ combined Free Practice on Friday:
1. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1’24.197
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.339s
3. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) +0.442
4.) Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.443
5.) Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) +0.610
6. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.643
7. Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) +0.735
8. Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) +0.848
9. Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) +0.988
10. Tom Luthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) +0.996
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