The margins remain fine at the completion of second practice at Catalunya
Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) continues to be the pace-setter in Moto2™ after FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. The Spaniard’s 1:44.450 in FP1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya remains the best time so far this weekend in the intermediate class, and he was second-fastest in FP2 with a 1:44.861 right at the end. However, Canet had been even quicker to the second sector on a slightly earlier lap when he happened upon traffic in the form of Simone Corsi (MV Augusta Forward Racing) as he negotiated Turn 9. His frustrations were obvious when he gesticulated towards the Italian, while Stewards announced that the matter is under investigation.
Few improvements – but not for lack of trying
As was the case at the end of FP1 also, the second-fastest rider so far is French GP winner Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with the 1:44.474 he set in that earlier session. However, like Canet, Fernandez also could have gone quicker in FP2 if circumstances had played out slightly differently. He was behind Corsi and Alex Toledo (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) when he took a wide berth into Turn 10 and folded the front of his motorcycle – rider okay. Fernandez’s Red Bull KTM Ajo team-mate Pedro Acosta, who tasted victory a week ago at Mugello, was another who was fast late in the piece but a near-spill at Turn 4 meant there was no improvement for the 18-year-old. Acosta is now ninth on the combined timesheet.
In fact, the top seven is the same as what it was when FP2 started. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) is third on a 1:44.529, ahead of Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) on a 1:44.575 and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) on a 1:44.732. Sixth and seventh are Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) and Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) respectively.
Who else is in Q2 – and who is out – as it stands?
While there is still one more session before we know who is going straight into Q2 on Saturday afternoon at Catalunya, it is always worth looking at the practice top 14 so far. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) was the main mover, from 12th in FP1 to eighth on combined times with the fastest lap of FP2, a late 1:44.752. That was the only change to the order, and the only other rider in that 14 to better their time from one session to the next was the American’s Italtrans team-mate, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who remains 13th despite going from a 1:45.159 to a 1:45.010.
The joint World Championship leaders, Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) are just ahead of Dalla Porta in 11th and 12th respectively, but there are a couple of key names on the outside at the moment. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) is 15th, 0.086 seconds adrift of top 14 pace, and Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) sits 18th. Zonta Van Den Goorbergh (RW Racing GP) was another notable in FP2, for a crash he had at Turn 2, but the Dutchman – who is 28th on the timesheet – was able to walk away.
It was a warm Barcelona afternoon but the temperature should be lower in FP3 – and that means the pace will surely heat up instead! Join us for that session on Saturday from 10:55 (GMT +2).
Moto2™ Top 10 on Friday:
1. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) – 1:44.450
2. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.024
3. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.079
4. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.125
5. Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) + 0.282
6. Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.291
7. Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.295
8. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.302
9. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.378
10. Alonso Lopez (Lightech Speed Up) + 0.412