Lowes edges out Raul Fernandez for Day 1 honours

The British rider and rookie sensation jostled it out for top spot on Friday at the Italian GP; FP1 pacesetter Roberts crashes in FP2

Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) enjoyed a successful Friday at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley and will head the Moto2™ field into qualifying day. Lowes’ late 1:51.365 was 0.184s better than second fastest Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo), the rookie going great guns yet again, while Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) earned third place on Day 1.

Lowes vs Raul Fernandez for top spot

Lowes’ aforementioned best time was set on his final flying lap of the session, with both the British rider and Raul Fernandez looking a cut above the competition in FP2. The latter is visiting Mugello for the first time on a Moto2™ machine but is unfazed and as he has done at every round this season, the Spaniard is looking in supreme form.

The combined top 10 ahead of Saturday’s action

Behind the leading trio on the timesheets is Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) thanks to his table-topping FP1 time. However, the American went down hard at Turn 5 midway through FP2 and subsequently missed the remainder of the session after his bike suffered heavy damage. On home turf, Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) strung a solid day together to end P5, just under half a second from Lowes.

Sixth place is another Italian in the form of Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP). The rookie finished P5 in FP1 and finishes the day in P6, just ahead of seventh place Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo), signalling a fine performance from Arbolino. World Championship leader Gardner is 0.599s off Lowes’ pace after Friday’s proceedings, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completing the top 10.

Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) all crashed in FP2.

Make sure you tune into Moto2™ FP3 at 10:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday morning to find out who is going straight into Q2.

Top 10 combined:
1. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) – 1:51.385
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.184
3. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.308
4. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.361
5. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.465
6. Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.591
7. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.599
8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.622
9. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.696
10. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.966

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