Lowes heads up Moto2, Gardner penalised
Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Franco Morbidelli has topped Friday free practice for the Gran Premio de Catalunya setting his quickest time in the afternoon session.
Morbidelli’s time of 1m 39.789s was enough to best the Ducati of Johan Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) by 0.109s in second. His hot lap came after a crash at turn ten, with the Italian admitting that his time was set on a soft tyre and he was not able to concentrate on a good setting for the full race distance. “I wanted to get the bike back to the pitbox to keep working with the used tyres, but unfortunately I was not able to. I changed my focus to the flying lap with soft tyres and was able to put in a quick lap,” commented Morbidelli.
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) finished third on the timesheets, making it three different manufacturers in the top three. Winner of last weeks event Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was solid in fourth while Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was the fastest Honda, completing the top five.
Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) wasn’t able to go faster in the afternoon, setting the sixth fastest time of the day overall, which was also the fastest time of the morning session. Joan Mir (Team Ecstar Suzuki) was seventh quickest after crashing in the morning session, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in eighth. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) showed more signs of improvement in ninth with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) rounding out the top ten.
Once again, a swag of top riders face the pressure in FP3 to make the cut for Q2, including the Ducati’s of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing – 12th) and championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team – 15th)
In Moto 2, Great Britain’s Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) topped the timesheets ahead of Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who was two tenths behind. Both riders set their fastest lap in the morning with German Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) being fastest in the afternoon and third overall.
Australian Remy Gardner (OneXOX TKKR SAG Team), making his comeback after crashing at Misano, will be demoted six spots on the grid after being penalised by stewards for crashing under yellow flag conditions.
Spaniard Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went fastest in the Moto3 class, 0.281s quicker than Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing). Last week’s winner Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) showed renewed confidence with the third best time, just over one tenth of a second behind Masia.