Dixon and Vierge quick in the wet on SanMarinoGP opening day

Jake Dixon and Xavi Vierge end Friday’s Moto2 Free Practice at Misano sixth and seventh respectively

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto2 riders had a strong start to the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini today, despite heavy rain in both Free Practice sessions at Misano, with Jake Dixon claiming sixth overall and Xavi Vierge seventh.

The morning’s wet conditions proved to be no issue for Dixon, who briefly held the third fastest time in the second half of FP1. Despite a Turn 4 crash on his final lap of the session, the Brit posted the fourth fastest time in FP1 – 1min 50.623secs. Jake’s good form continued in FP2, where he set the fourth fastest time early on, before opting to sit out of the deluge at the midpoint. Back out in the final minutes, he ended FP2 with the tenth fastest lap – 1min 51.098secs – but his FP1 time put him sixth overall.

Vierge had a steady start to the day’s proceedings, as he used the opening half of FP1 to adapt to the track conditions. Setting his fastest time on his final flying lap, his time of 1min 51.325secs saw him end FP1 in tenth. The Spaniard decided to build his pace lap-by-lap in the extremely wet conditions experienced in FP2, not setting his fastest time of the session until his final flying lap – 1min 50.699secs. This time placed Xavi fourth in FP2 and seventh overall.

Dixon and Vierge will be back out on track for FP3 at 10.55am local time (4.55pm MYT) tomorrow, ahead of the first of the two Moto2 Qualifying sessions at 3.10pm local time (9.10pm MYT).

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Jake Dixon, 6th (1’50.623): “It was a difficult thing to jump back to the Moto2 bike because the feeling was very different, so we made some changes for this afternoon. The FP2 position wasn’t as good as in the morning session and, although we weren’t intending to because of the heavy rain, we went out with five minutes to go because all of sudden the times started to improve with the track drying.

I’m glad we did because the bike was a lot better and I was able to improve my time in that session. I’m really happy with how day one has gone and hopefully we’ll have some dry time tomorrow, so I can start to familiarise myself with my bike in those conditions too.

Xavi Vierge, 7th (1’50.699): “Overall it has been a good day for us, although the weather conditions were difficult in both sessions. We have only been able to ride in the wet today and it has been a challenge to understand the track, to know where we can push and where the risk is too high.

In FP2 I decided to go non-stop and it was quite positive for us, we were able to gather a lot of information to help us improve tomorrow if the conditions are the same. We will see though as it looks like FP3 will be dry, so it will be really important to be quick straightaway to go through to Q2. I think we’ll be ready whatever the conditions are, as we were so fast last year in dry conditions here and know what settings to use.”

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