Di Giannantonio sets new lap record to top Moto2™ FP3
The Speed Up rider is the man to beat heading into qualifying, Lowes within a tenth but suffers his second crash of the weekend
Friday pacesetter Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) keeps top spot ahead of Moto2™ qualifying at the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon, the Italian setting a 1:52.171 – a new Aragon lap record – to beat Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by 0.072 seconds. Lowes suffered his second crash of the weekend but was perfectly ok, Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) rounds out the fastest trio in the intermediate class.
Lowes was on a mission in FP3 and in the early stages, the British rider was back to the summit after losing out in FP2. Lowes was 0.240 quicker than Di Giannantonio’s FP2 time and on his next lap, the Le Mans race winner went even faster. 0.309 was the number 22’s advantage on the field and that was then extended again, Lowes going over half a second better than anyone to really lay down the gauntlet on Saturday morning. His 1:52.243 was just fractions shy of Alex Marquez’ all-time lap record set last season.
Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) and Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) were the only other improvers up the sharp end with 23 minutes to go, before Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) was up into the top six. Gardner launched to P2 as Lowes’ time was then bettered by Di Giannantonio with five minutes to go, a new all-time lap record for the Italian put him 0.072 clear in P1. Then, Lowes suffered his second crash of the weekend, Turn 14 biting – rider ok, but not ideal for the title contender.
The top three at the end of the session saw Di Giannantonio and Lowes sit three tenths clear of the chasing pack. Gardner improves in FP3 to sit as their nearest challenger, Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Roberts complete a top five covered by 0.533 in FP3. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) is 0.580 off his teammate in P6 heading into qualifying, rookie Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) went well on Saturday morning to finish P7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) was the only rider in the top 10 not go improve in FP3, the Italian sits P8, with Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) setting his best time on his final flying lap in FP3 to go P9 from outside the top 14. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) rounds out the top 10 as he and Championship leader Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) finish 0.7 off P1.
Q1 will include some big hitters. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), the injured Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) are just four names who will be expecting to progress to the pole position shootout. Don’t miss intermediate class qualifying at 15:50 (GMT+2).
1. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) – 1:52.171
2. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.072
3. Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) + 0.381
4. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.501
5. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) + 0.533
6. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.580
7. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) + 0.594
8. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.622
9. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.659
10. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.734