Augusto Fernandez Leads Red Bull KTM Ajo 1-2 In Qatar On Friday
FP1 pacesetter Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) ended the Moto2™ second Free Practice session at the top of the timesheets after the Spaniard set a 1:59.112, as the sun sets at the Grand Prix of Qatar. Rookie Pedro Acosta makes it a Red Bull KTM Ajo 1-2 on Day 1, 0.160s off P1, with Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) – recovering from a broken hand – lands P3 late on.
Red Bull KTM Ajo march on as Dixon crashes
The opening exchanges of FP2 were busy as track conditions allowed the riders to immediately improve their times from the earlier FP1 stint. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) rose to the top on his fifth flying lap, before Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) moved the goalposts with just under 10 minutes to go. Acosta and Fernandez then exchanged P1, as Dixon then crashed – unhurt – as he chased a time to go back to the summit. In the end, Fernandez held P1 from Acosta, with Schrötter rising to P3 on his last lap.
“I’m happy to have started the weekend like this. We have worked well, although there is still a lot to do with the race in mind, since the conditions change a lot from FP1 to FP2. We have to push in the afternoon session, because the conditions we will have then are the most similar to those that we shall see on Sunday. The objective for tomorrow is to qualify well, but it will be tough, because we only have 15 minutes to look for a good lap and finish outlining some details that will allow us to take a step forward in terms of our pace, and be strong at the end of the contest. Overall, we’re doing a great job and it’s been a positive day.”
“Our first day of work in Qatar in Moto2 went very well. It was important for us to understand the circuit with the new bike because the needs and demands are very different from Moto3. In general, it has been a positive Friday in which we have made a lot of progress from FP1 to FP2. Tomorrow we will have to keep pushing, to qualify in the best position possible.”
Top 10 ahead of Saturday’s FP3
Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) edged out Canet by 0.004s as the pair finished P4 and P5 respectively at the end of the first day of intermediate class action in 2022. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) is sixth going into Saturday’s action with rookie Filip Salač (Gresini Racing Moto2™) going well in FP2 to finish seventh. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) were P8 and P9 respectively, as Dixon slipped to P10.
Moto2™ FP3 goes green at 12:20 local time (GMT+3), who will automatically get themselves into the first Q2 session of the season?
Top 10 combined
1. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:59.112
2. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.160
3. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.164
4. Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.437
5. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) + 0.444
6. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.547
7. Filip Salač (Gresini Racing Moto2™) + 0.554
8. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.590
9. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) + 0.593
10. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.650