Niccolo Antonelli took Friday honours in the Moto3 class at MotoGP Jerez thanks to his 1’46.795 in FP2, as SIC58 teammate Tatsuki Suzuki joined the Italian at the top of the times with a 1’46.888 with Raul Fernandez third fastest.
The riders set about their respective FP2 routines in the afternoon after their first FP1 of the season took place on European soil in the morning.
But most of the action took place in the final 20 minutes, as FP1’s fastest rider John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) suffered a small crash at the tricky turn 1 with just under 20 minutes of FP2 remaining while sitting fifth.
Heading into the last eight or so minutes, a mini time attack took place as the battle for top spot on Friday heated up under the Spanish sun.
At the end of FP2 it was Antonelli and Suzuki who were leading the way on the combined times thanks to their laps in the afternoon before the chequered flag dropped, a great improvement from P21 and P26 in FP1 for the Honda duo, with Fernandez ending the day third.
McPhee sits fourth on the combined times, his table-topping FP1 laptime giving the Scotsman that position, with Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) completing the top five after a good day at the office for the man second in the Championship.
Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) improved his time by around eight tenths in the afternoon session to end Friday at Jerez in sixth, the Italian heads seventh place Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and eighth quickest Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) as the top eight are covered by just 0.375.
Riccardo Rossi (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) – third fastest in FP1 – sits ninth, just over a tenth clear of compatriot Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46), both riders consolidating top ten places in FP2.
Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) and Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) crashed during FP2 – riders OK.