MotoGP Catalunya: Canet clinches Moto2 Friday honours

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet claimed the fastest time on Friday with a 1’44.450, set in the morning practice at Barcelona-Catalunya.

It was a Spanish one-two as Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez sat second from a British one-two with Jake Dixon leading Sam Lowes in the top four.

Lowes and Canet vied for dominance as Friday morning’s action fired up in the intermediate class. The Elf Marc VDS time bettered by just 0.001 as the Flexbox took charge with a 1’44.574 lap.

Bo Bendsneyder sat third on the Pertamina SAG with Intact GP’s Marcel Schrötter topping the Aspar pairing of Albert Arenas and Dixon. Mugello victor Pedro Acosta, Speed Up’s Alonso Lopez and Italtrans’ Lorenzo Dalla Porta heading championship leader Celestino Vietti in the top ten at the halfway stage.

Joe Roberts moved his own Italtrans up to sixth as the final quarter of an hour prepared before Fernandez bettered for position next time around. Lopez demoting the American further with his tenth effort as the final runs began.

Fernandez put the Red Bull in contention in the closing ten minutes with a 1’44.474 before Canet hit back 0.024s clear. Vietti improving to ninth ahead of Roberts and Dixon before the Brit claimed third at the expense of Lowes.

Tony Arbolino sat just outside of the top 14 on the second Marc VDS as the session counted down, Gresini’s Filip Salac holding the provisional gateway with a 1’45.286. Honda’s Ai Ogura rising to tenth as the final minute fired up.

The afternoon began with a near-miss for Vietti as he saved a moment on his Mooney VR46 at turn four. Acosta leading the way as the session warmed up with 1’44.9 pace. Dalla Porta was the first to improve on FP1 as he made his way to 13th overall, the Italtrans rider and Bendsneyder honing in on the KTM with Fernandez and both Aspar’s completing the session’s top six.

The mid session saw strong and consistent rhythm from Acosta and Lowes before the final runs got up to speed. Zonta van der Goorbergh joining the turn two club on the RW Racing in the final ten minutes as Dixon muscled his Aspar through turn thirteen.

Roberts hit the top with six to go. The American’s 1’44.930 effort consolidating his Q2 position overall from 11th as he utilised the momentum from his second podium last time out. Fernandez and Lopez battled in the top five as the session counted down. The KTM rider, however, crashed out at turn ten having been caught in traffic on his next hot lap to deny the three red sector effort.

Canet was on a charge before he too had to bail out of a red sector flyer due to a slow running Simone Corsi, Roberts maintaining command with a 1’44.752 as the flag prepared and sitting eighth overall. The Flexbox rider ultimately recovered to take the second, just a tenth shy, while his FP1 time claimed the day’s honours thanks to a 1’44.450.

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