Moto3 world champion-elect Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) struck back in the afternoon on day one of the Australian MotoGP weekend to go fastest in second practice, taking over from the morning’s fastest man Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46).
The Championship leader was just over two tenths clear of nearest challenger Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with Bo Bendnseyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) taking third after leading FP2 for some time.
Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) showed his raw pace once again in P4 overall, ahead of Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) – with Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) completing the top six. Fenati had a fast crash in FP1 and was outside the top twenty for some time before leaping up the timesheets towards the end of the day.
Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) made it both RBA machines in the top ten, edging Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) by only 0.003. Bulega took P9 by the end of play, with the top ten completed by Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate).
First time podium finisher at Motegi Marco Bezzecchi (CIP), Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers), Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate) – so close to the podium last season – and Manuel Pagliani (CIP) locked out the fifteen fastest on Friday.
Britain’s John McPhee is struggling in Australia and is down in 24th place.