MotoGP Germany: Salac tops Moto2 FP3 as Vietti faces Q1

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Gresini Racing’s Filip Salac took charge of the Moto2 times on Saturday morning with a 1’23.640 around the Sachsenring.

Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez joined him in the top there, with the Pons rider recovering from an early crash to claim the runners up spot.

The final intermediate practice began with a winded Jake Dixon on the deck after a turn three highside on his opening flying lap. Liqui Moly’s Marcel Schrotter and Sam Lowes the early movers in the top three with the pair swapping positions next time around as the Marc VDS man got within three-tenths of Fernandez’ Friday target. The time, however, didn’t stand for long as Bo Bendsneyder arrived on the Pertamina SAG to command the standings with a 1’24.014. American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier up to third as Salac primed the Gresini to P1 with the first 1’23 of the weekend.

Mooney VR46’s Celestino Vietti started Saturday with dramatically improved fortunes to his opening efforts, finding eighth and placing himself firmly inside Q2 promotion after Friday’s struggles on the edge of the top 20. Canet suffering his own turn one crash and dealing with a nose bleed - following his broken nose from a car accident between races - as he dispatched himself to the medical centre after ten minutes of action.

Dixon dropped to the danger zone in 14th as his Aspar teammate, Albert Arenas, climbed to fourth. Pedro Acosta, Fermin Aldeguer and Barry Baltus narrowly ahead of the Brit with Canet, Tony Arbolino, Joe Roberts and Ai Ogura amongst the big hitters so far facing the Q1 fight.

Italtrans’ Roberts was in fifth, and narrowly ahead of countryman Beaubier, at the halfway stage before Alonso Lopez split the pair on the Speed Up. Lowes dropping to tenth with Dixon heading back out on track, from 16th, in the final quarter.

A final shootout fired up in the closing stages. Yellow flags flying in sector one as Zonta van der Goorbergh took a trip through the turn one gravel on the RW Racing with initial laps deleted for a number of the pack in the process. Second attempts found improvements Fernandez as the KTM gained a place to second. Canet striking for eighth on his return to action with Honda’s Ogura frustrated by the traffic around him on track.

Canet continued to climb, to second, next time around as he followed Acosta. The KTM Ajo rider finding fifth with both Arbolino and Vietti out of Q2 contention with two minutes to go and Schrotter on the bubble at home. The championship leader improved to 14th but was immediately disputed by Ogura. Lopez crashing out in the closing minute at turn one.

The flag dropped with Vietti attempting one final flyer but it wasn’t enough. Dixon suffering a turn five moment on his won last ditch attempt for promotion with the pair completing the session in 15th and 18th respectively.

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