MotoGP Germany: Fernandez fastest in Moto2 on Friday

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s dream team locked out the Moto2 times at the Sachsenring on Friday with Augusto Fernandez in charge across the day.

The Spaniard held off his rookie teammate by almost half a second after a dominant performance across the opening day with a 1’24.023 best, MB Conveyors’ Fermin Aldeguer completing the two 40-minute sessions in third.

The intermediate action fired up with a confused Tony Arbolino crashing his Elf Marc VDS out almost instantly as home hero Marcel Schrotter headed the early times. Brits Jake Dixon and Sam Lowes running second and fourth respectively after five minutes on track with Alonso Lopez splitting the duo from third.

KTM’s Acosta joined the front runners, in fourth, next time around with both Lowes then Dixon taking their turns at top on their fifth attempts. The second GasGas of Albert Arenas bringing out the yellow flags after a turn one crash.

Aldeguer was the next to succumb to turn one after 15 minutes, the Speed Up having just claimed the fifth fastest time, 0.333s adrift of Dixon’s 1’25.141 best.

Fernandez took charge at the halfway stage with a 1’25.097, 0.002s ahead of an improving Dixon. Cameron Beaubier advancing to seventh on the American Racing to split the two MB Conveyors with Filip Salac and Somkiat Chantra completing the top ten. Bo Bendsneyder, Jorge Navarro, Aron Canet and Joe Roberts sitting in the very provisional promotion places from 11th to 14th before the Flexbox pair advanced to fifth and tenth.

Acosta was on the move on his 13th attempt as he captured third. Yamaha Master Camp’s Manuel Gonzalez rising to seventh as his teammate Keminth Kubo crashed out in a high speed accident at turn 11 with championship leader Celestino Vietti circulating in a so far disappointing 19th.

Lowes struck for the lead, finding second, as the pace picked up in the closing stages. Fernandez moving the goalposts with a 1’24.560 as Lowes answered with a 1’24.9 and Lopez split the pair. The KTM rider improving again thanks to a 1’24.222.

Arenas and Salac claimed fourth and fifth as Barry Baltus suffered a massive barrel roll at turn eight. Niccolo Antonelli crashing out at turn 13 moments later as Arenas bettered Lowes in the standings.

Four minutes to go and both Beaubier and Canet were pushing hard. The Italian finding third as the Californian claimed fifth with Lowes demoted to sixth in one fell swoop and Dixon now circulating in ninth.

Lopez was the next victim of the short, sharp circuit, as he slid out at turn 13 ahead of the chequered flag dropping. The Speed Up ride safe in second as late session improvements failed to materialise.

FP2 saw Dixon at the top once again as the season got up to speed. The Aspar rider setting the pace with a 1’24.600 to sit second overall. Marcos Ramirez improved at a similar rate just 0.021s adrift as the MV Agusta claimed third while the Italtrans duo Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Roberts locked out fifth and sixth. Arbolino arriving to join his own teammate Lowes on the edge of the promotion zone, in 14th.

Midsession long runs gave way to the final action as Aldeguer and Acosta claimed second and third respectively. Schrotter promoting the Liqui Moly Intact to sixth as the KTM’s locked out the standings. Fernandez improving the outright target with a 1’24.023 as Acosta jumped the Speed Up to join his Ajo teammate in second.

Late improvements for Lowes boosted the Brit to eighth as Simone Corsi tucked the front at turn one. The Marc VDS continuing to climb as the clock counted down and sitting sixth with three minutes left to run. Championship leader Vietti mirroring his Barcelona struggles from 23rd.

Lowes was up to fourth as he maintained his impressive final run, 0.043s ahead of Dixon with no further threats registering as the chequered flag prepared to drop. American Racing’s Beaubier narrowly adrift of Q2 contention from 15th, with rookie teammate Sean Dylan Kelly impressing to 20th as his world championship education continued.

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