An all-Spanish top three after Day 1 at Aragon
Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) has turned the tables on Moto2™ World Championship leader Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to claim Friday honours at the Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon. Canet set the pace in FP2 on a 1:52.852, exactly a tenth of a second faster than Fernandez for the session in a swap of the top two relative to FP1. Alonso Lopez (CAG Speed Up), who scored a breakthrough victory just under a fortnight ago at Misano, was third-quickest in both sessions.
On a day when he would be confirmed as a future MotoGP™ rider, at GASGAS Factory Racing, Fernandez had been quickest in Moto2™ FP1 on a 1:52.925 while Canet was second-fastest in that session on a 1:53.057. Just prior to the halfway mark of FP2, they were split in terms of combined times when Lopez punched out a 1:53.011.
However, with less than four minutes to go, Canet crept up two positions when he clocked a 1:52.852 and that was how the top three would stay. Fernandez could not be accused of a lack of consistency, though, given his fastest lap time of FP2 at 1:52.952 was just 0.027 seconds slower than his FP1 benchmark. Worth noting also was that Canet might not have had a chance to usurp his countryman had he crashed early in the session at Turn 14, but the Pons Racing rider pulled off a good save.
How the rest finished the day
Jake Dixon (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team) picked up fourth with a 1:53.128 and Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) took fifth on a 1:53.154. Rounding out the top 10 were Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Albert Arenas (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team), Fermin Aldeguer (CAG Speed Up), Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), and Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia).
Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), who is just four points off the World Championship lead, ended the day in 12th, while neither of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team riders are in Q2 as it stands. Celestino Vietti sits 17th and Niccolo Antonelli in 27th, both having crashed in FP2, in separate incidents. Also having spills in FP2 were Marcos Ramirez (MV Agusta Forward Racing), Zonta van den Goorbergh (RW RAcing GP), and Cameron Beabuier (American Racing), who sit 11th, 14th, and 15th respectively at this point in time.
All of that said, windy conditions in FP2 mean a number of teams and riders may have been working on race pace rather than out-and-out time attacks. That means things are going to heat up even more in FP3, and you can catch that session on Saturday from 10:55 (GMT +1)!
Moto2™ Top 10 on Friday:
1. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) – 1:52.852
2. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.073
3. Alonso Lopez (CAG Speed Up) + 0.159
4. Jake Dixon (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.276
5. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.302
6. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.373
7. Albert Arenas (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.463
8. Fermin Aldeguer (CAG Speed Up) + 0.547
9. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.723
10. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.747