Britain’s Lowes splits the Red Bull KTM Ajo title-chasing duo on Friday in Portimao as late drama unfolds for Gardner
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished top of the pile on Day 1 at the Grande Prémio Brembo do Algarve – but only just. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) is just 0.002s away from the Spaniard’s 1:43.246, World Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is third quickest, but the Australian suffered some late drama at the final corner when he crashed with Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) – riders ok.
Day 1 goes to Raul Fernandez, a late dent in Gardner’s Friday efforts
It’s all about the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo in terms of the Championship, with Gardner holding his first match point this weekend. The duo – as ever – looked strong, finishing 1-2 in FP1, with Lowes able to split the pair in FP2.
Moto2™ title leader Gardner crashes hard in FP2
Gardner had experienced a hairy moment just before his big crash with Ramirez at the final corner, seeing the Australian endure a difficult end to an otherwise straightforward day. Heading into qualifying, Gardner is 0.122s down on his teammate.
Jorge Navarro (Termozeta Speed Up) ended FP1 in P13 but the Spaniard made good progress in the afternoon to finish P4 on Day 1, just 0.004s away from Gardner. Rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) crashed in FP1 but was in fine form in FP2 to claim P5, the Japanese rider a slender 0.001s ahead of Aron Canet (QuieroCorredor Aspar Team), with SKY Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi and Celestino Vietti cementing Day 1 top 10s in P7 and P8.
Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) went down in the same incident as Ogura in FP1, the Spaniard recovering to take P9 on the Friday combined standings, with Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) rounding out the top 10.
Late drama for Gardner, smooth sailing for Raul Fernandez – what does Saturday have in store for the title contenders? Don’t miss Moto2™ FP3 at 10:55 local time (GMT+0) on Saturday morning.
Top 10 combined:
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:43.246
2. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.002
3. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.122
4. Jorge Navarro (Termozeta Speed Up) + 0.126
5. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.199
6. Aron Canet (QuieroCorredor Aspar Team) + 0.200
7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.317
8. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.335
9. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.446
10. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.456