Roberts tops Moto2 on Friday at Qatar | Remy highsides hard

2020 MotoGP
Round One – Qatar


Moto2

After some impressive form in preseason testing at Losail International Circuit, Joe Roberts (American Racing) came out swinging on Day 1 of the QNB Grand Prix of Qatar and smashed the lap record in FP2 to end Friday on top. The American was nearly two-and-a-half-tenths clear of his closest competition, Marco Bezzecchi, with Luca Marini in third as Sky Racing Team VR46 riders completed the top three.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Joe Roberts

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts (American Racing)

Free Practice 1 in the sun began with Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) topping the timesheets, but the Swiss veteran had a tricky start to FP2 after crashing at Turn 14 while on a session best lap – rider ok. There were no such troubles for Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) though as the Japanese rider, who finished P11 in FP1, shot to the top of the times with the fastest lap of the weekend, and he remained near the top by the end of play too.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Bezzecchi

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Bezzecchi

Marco Bezzecchi

In the early stages, plenty of riders were beating their FP1 times, and by the end all those down to Lüthi in 11th overall had gone faster. The Swiss rider also suffered a second crash and headed for the Medical Centre – rider fit.

By the end of the shuffle it was Roberts who moved up from having taken fifth in FP1, the American blasting the lap record and Bezzecchi then moving up to second on his final lap. Marini took third, less than a tenth off his teammate, with Nagashima pushed down to P4.

Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) had a better afternoon to finish P5 overall, the Spaniard having crashed in FP1, and FP2 crasher Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) slipped to P6 after his tumble ended his session early. Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) had a great FP2 to finish P7 overall on Day 1, the Dutchman moving up from P18 in FP1 and putting in one of NTS’ best sessions to date.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Bendsneyder

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Bendsneyder

Bo Bendsneyder

Now into his second year of Moto2, Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) ended the day in P8 despite a crash, edging out compatriot and fellow sophomore Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2). Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who was second in FP1, slipped to tenth despite marginally improving his laptime – but he did clock the fastest ever Moto2 speed at Losail: 296.7km/h.

Lüthi was P11, ahead of the Qatar Test’s fastest man: Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up), who crashed on Day 1 too. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) was next fastest, ahead of Aron Canet (Aspar Team), with the Spaniard the fastest rookie once again – and currently the last man who would move through to Q2.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Baldassarri

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Baldassarri

Lorenzo Baldassarri

Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) suffered a spectacular highside on the exit of Turn 1 in FP2, the Australian heading to the medical centre for a checkup, and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) was another high profile crasher on Friday.


Moto2 Friday Combined Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 J.Roberts KALEX 1m58.421
2 M.Bezzecchi KALEX +0.248
3 L.Marini KALEX +0.338
4 T.Nagashima KALEX +0.5
5 X.Vierge KALEX +0.638
6 A.Fernandez KALEX +0.653
7 B.Bendsneyd NTS +0.668
8 E.Bastianini KALEX +0.693
9 N.Bulega KALEX +0.715
10 J.Martin KALEX +0.727
11 T.Luthi KALEX +0.747
12 J.Navarro SPEED UP +0.768
13 M.Schrotter KALEX +0.777
14 A.Canet SPEED UP +0.794
15 L.Baldassarri KALEX +0.816
16 R.Gardner KALEX +0.856
17 F.Di Giannanto SPEED UP +0.863
18 S.Chantra KALEX +0.869
19 E.Pons KALEX +1.065
20 S.Lowes KALEX +1.14
21 J.Dixon KALEX +1.22
22 M.Ramirez KALEX +1.288
23 S.Corsi MV AGUSTA +1.418
24 H.Garzo KALEX +1.599
25 S.Manzi MV AGUSTA +1.705
26 J.Raffin NTS +1.76
27 H.Syahrin SPEED UP +1.807
28 L.Dalla Porta KALEX +2.383
29 A.Izdihar KALEX +2.661
30 K.Kasmaudin KALEX +4.465

Moto3

The wait is over and Moto3 are officially back in action at the QNB Grand Prix of Qatar, with Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) the man opening his 2020 account on top. The pace was pretty hot on Day 1 as the Spaniard ended Friday just 0.019 shy of Aron Canet’s lap record at Losail International Circuit, with Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) in second but a tenth back. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0), our most recent race winner until the grid have a chance to try and change the fact on Sunday, completed the top three after also having gone fastest in FP1.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Raul Fernandez

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Raul Fernandez

Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Friday saw sun blaze throughout the day and a little less wind than had plagued the venue at times during the recent test, and it was largely a drama-free affair with most of the field improving their laptimes in a duskier FP2. The timesheets promise plenty from the race, however, with the speed already there on Day 1 as Fernandez homed in on that lap record – and only a tenth and a half separating the top three. In addition, the previous top speed in Moto3 fell by the wayside as Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) upped it from 240.3km/h to 245.4.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Darryn Binder

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Darryn Binder

Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power)

Fourth went the way of Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura, who was second fastest in testing in Qatar, as he moved up the timesheets on his final attempt and got ahead of compatriot Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – last year’s race winner. He was the last man in the 2:04s, with Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) putting in a 2’05.227 for sixth.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Sergio Garcia

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia

Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) was seventh and improved a whopping 1.7 seconds from his FP1 time, with Masia in P8 and over a second quicker in FP2 than his previous best. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) was only 0.016 back from the Spaniard as he leapt up the timesheets and put his Husqvarna in ninth on the manufacturer’s return to the class, with Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) completing the top ten – a familiar sight so far – as fastest rookie. The Turkish rider was only 0.007 off Fenati, too.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Deniz Oncu

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Fri Moto Deniz Oncu

Deniz Öncü

John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was close too as the Scot took P11, with Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) slotting into 12th. Rookies Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia) and Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Racing) provisionally claimed the final Q2 spots in 13th and 14th place, but anything can change again in FP3…

Migno and Albert Arenas (Aspar Team) were both crashers in FP1, but nobody slipped off during the second session of the day for the lightweight class.


Moto3 Friday Combined Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 R.Fernandez KTM 2:04.577
2 D.Binder KTM +0.121
3 S.Garcia HONDA +0.146
4 A.Ogura HONDA +0.345
5 K.Toba KTM +0.411
6 T.Arbolino HONDA +0.650
7 A.Migno KTM +0.710
8 J.Masia HONDA +0.755
9 R.Fenati HUSQVARNA +0.771
10 D.Öncü KTM +0.778
11 J.Mcphee HONDA +0.806
12 C.Vietti KTM +0.925
13 Y.Kunii HONDA +1.010
14 C.Tatay KTM +1.021
15 T.Suzuki HONDA +1.029
16 S.Nepa KTM +1.035
17 G.Rodrigo HONDA +1.045
18 A.Arenas KTM +1.091
19 F.Salac HONDA +1.188
20 J.Alcoba HONDA +1.202
21 A.Lopez HUSQVARNA +1.218
22 D.Foggia HONDA +1.285
23 R.Rossi KTM +1.337
24 R.Yamanaka HONDA +1.509
25 K.Pawi HONDA +1.540
26 A.Sasaki KTM +1.693
27 D.Pizzoli KTM +1.718
28 M.Kofler KTM +2.404
29 J.Dupasquier KTM +2.586
30 D.Geiger KTM +3.136
31 J.Garcia HONDA +3.725

Source: MCNews.com.au

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