MotoGP Aragon: Canet claims Moto2 Friday honours

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet claimed the Friday spoils in Moto2 after two free practice sessions at Motorland Aragon.

Championship leader and soon to be MotoGP rider Augusto Fernandez sat second at the close of the opening day with San Marino Winner Alonso Lopez completing the top three from Shimoko GasGas Aspar’s Jake Dixon.

The intermediate class began preparations for the final European race ahead of the flyaways with Canet in charge with a 1’55.107 before Misano victor Lopez and Flexbox’s Jorge Navarro bettered. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Fernandez was the next to challenge as the Spaniard - recently announced for GasGas MotoGP promotion - hit the top.

The times continued to tumble as the Speed Up duo of Lopez and Fermin Aldeguer swapped control, Dixon rising to second with his fourth effort of FP1 just 0.032s adrift of the benchmark after ten minutes on track.

American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier sat tenth in the opening times after confirming his exit from the Moot2 championship at the end of 2022. The five-time MotoAmerica Champion opting to return home with limited chances of a seat in MotoGP on the cards.

Canet was back in charge from teammate Navarro next time around before Lopez returned to the front. Dixon continuing to refine his times from fourth as just over a tenth covered the top five before Fernandez ignited the pace once again.

Ten minutes to go and the series leader remained in charge with a 1’53.214 from the Speed up duo. Elf Marc VDS’ Tony Arbolino ran fourth from the two Flexbox riders with KTM’s Pedro Acosta making his way to seventh. Idemitsu Honda’s Somkiat Chantra headed teammate Ai Ogura in eighth and tenth respectively with Dixon splitting the pair before the Brit advanced to eighth in the final stages.

Senna Agius continued his impressive rookie run as he continued to stand in for the injured Sam Lowes. The Australian circulating just adrift of the provisional promotion zone and just 0.039s behind Mooney VR46’s Celestino Vietti in 14th.

Taiga Hada suffered a fall at turn five on the Pertamina SAG, the number 29 replacing Gabriel Rodrigo for the remainder of the season with the Argentinian calling time on his professional career earlier in the week following his 2022 injury.

Dixon was back in fourth with three minutes left on the clock as Italtrans’ Joe Roberts leapfrogged his countryman for twelfth. Fernandez holding off a late challenge from teammate Acosta to head the session with a 1’52.925.

The afternoon saw long runs dominant the first half of the session with Aspar’s Albert Arenas the first improver to eighth overall.

Turn 14 claimed Mooney VR46’s Niccolo Antonelli after 15 minutes of action. Lopez improving the FP2 pace with a 1’53.011 as the second VR46 of Vietti succumbed once corner earlier, from the edge of the Q2 zone.

MV Agusta’s Marcos Ramirez was the next to crash, this time at turn three, as the session reached the closing eight minutes, Beaubier suffering the same fate two minutes later.

Acosta climbed to fourth with four to go, as the pace began to ignite. Canet the first to take charge with a 1’52.852 as he bettered Fernandez by a mere 0.073s. Roberts rising to ninth next time around as Arbolino claimed fourth. Aspar’s Arenas and Dixon sat sixth and eighth respectively with a minute left to run with Beaubier holding the gateway time in the closing stages.

RW Racing’s Zonta Van Den Goorbergh made moves to 14th to deny the American as the chequered flag prepared before crashing out at turn 14 next time around. Dixon finding his way to fourth with a 1’53.128, just a quarter of a second adrift of the outright target as the session drew to a close.

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