MotoGP Assen: Fernandez flourishes in Moto2 FP3

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez headed the final practice for Moto2 at the TT Circuit Assen on Saturday morning.

The Spaniard’s 1’37,115 claimed the lead in the closing stages from GasGas Aspar’s Albert Arenas and Dutch rider Bo Bendsneyder.

Intermediate action began with Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet managing just one lap before the ongoing nose bleed issue continued to impair his progress. Arenas led the times on 1’37.513 pace with local rider Bendsneyder in second on the Pertamina SAG. The pair just narrowly short of Italtrans rider Joe Robert’s Friday pace in the combined times with Flexbox’s Jorge Navarro the gatekeeper to Q2 in 14th.

Brits Sam Lowes and Jake Dixon sat 10th and 11th in the combined times as the session fired up with Fernandez striving for the lead with a 1’37.142. Lowes found improvement with his sixth attempt on his way to eighth as Elf Marc VDS teammate Tony Arbolino arrived to third.

Ai Ogura claimed third at the halfway stage as the Honda Team Asia rider showed impressive and consistent pace. American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier held the final promotion place, 0.013s ahead of Dixon with championship leader Celestino Vietti narrowly faster than the pair in 13th.

The final ten minutes saw Roberts head out as he looked to enhance his opening efforts. The Californian holding sixth overall thanks to his 1’37.3 Friday best as the only rider in the top 14 yet to improve.

Bendsneyder rose to third with five to go as Vietti advanced to ninth. Dixon doing likewise for 11th just as Lowes crashed out from 10th at the final chicane. Beaubier consolidated his position in the danger zone as Filip Salac brought out the final sector yellow flags once again as the next to succumb to turn 17 on a person best. The Gresini rider sitting seventh in the closing minute with his place in Q2 safe.

A late push promoted Dixon to sixth as the chequered flag came out, two-tenths adrift of the outright pace. Liqui Moly’s Marcel Schrotter the last to improve on this way to second, before the time was deleted, with Beaubier safe in Q2 as the session concluded.

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