MotoGP Sepang: Fernandez tops rain-struck Friday in Moto2

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Red Bull KTM Ajo locked out the Moto2 standings on Friday after torrential rain hit the Sepang International Circuit.

Moto2 Championship challenger Augusto Fernandez held court after topping the FP1 times by almost second before suffering a turn 15 slide as the chequered flag prepared. His 2’06.816 remaining undisputed from teammate Pedro Acosta and Elf Marc VDS’ Tony Arbolino with his main title rival Ai Ogura bringing up fourth on the Idemitsu Honda.

Morning drama saw Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet collect RW Racing’s Barry Baltus after a turn 15 manoeuvre gone wrong with the pair down controversially again just under waved yellows as the Belgium teenager was stretched off track. Baltus later confirming a broken left heel with his weekend ended prematurely. The team fully out of luck following an earlier crash and retirement for Zonta van den Goorberg on the Dutchman’s out lap.

The afternoon session found Intact GP’s Marcel Schrotter in charge of the standings with a 2’08.093 before the German began indicating the arrival of rain. VR46’s Master Camp’s Manuel Gonzales bettering by a quarter of a second before the field eased off.

The heavens opened with just ten minutes complete as the pack returned to pitlane, Sam Lowes caught out at turn 13 in the rapidly deteriorating conditions. The red flag came out at the halfway stage as the track was absolutely flooded by torrential downpours, the safety car aquaplaning its way around the 5.5km layout as it attempted to assess conditions.

An hour later, the wet session resumed for the final 22 minutes. Kasma Daniel suffering an immediate highside at tune nine on the Petronas wildcard with Somkiat Chantra opting to sit out of the afternoon action due to his Australia injuries.

Aspar’s Jake Dixon led the pace in the wet conditions with a 2’24.835 before the Brit too hit the deck at turn nine, his session complete with ten minutes to go but safely in the promotion zone thanks to his morning efforts.

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