Moto2: Morbidelli on top after FP3

Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) made a fantastic start to the second day of Free Practice at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar as he led the way at the beginning of the third Free Practice session; the only session for the Moto2 class of the evening.

Morbidelli on form on day two of Free Practice

His teammate Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) however was also looking strong. The Italian rider who was desperate for his first Moto2 win of his career in 2016, was continuing in pursuit of his dreams as he soon overtook Marquez with the fastest lap time of the meeting so far, as he lapped In the mid 2:00 minutes knocking the Spaniard down to second.

His pace was so hot he was forced to run into -the run-off area at the end of the start-finish straight, before entering turn one.He was not the only one using the extra track as a few minutes later, Hafitzh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) also took advantage of the extra space, as he did what he could to avoid an incident on track.

Fast crash for Cortese midway through session

With just over 22 minutes to go, Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) crashed out at the fast turn three. Unfortunately for him, he touched the curb as he hit the apex of the turn, it caused him to lose control and the front to tuck and he slid out fast into the gravel track. He was straight back to his feet, but was keen to check his right hand for injuries; his bike was destroyed in the gravel after tumbling.

Morbidelli quickest at the end of day two

With less than 16 minutes to go, a very comfortable looking Morbidelli was able to further improve on his lap time. He reduced his time down to 2:00.349 which became and remained the fastest time of the meeting so far for the Moto2 class.

Despite trying, and several little battles on track, no-one else was able to match the time set by the Italian although some improved a little more on their own Personal Best times. On his final run out of the pits, Marquez came closest and was able to further improve but had to settle for being second fastest behind his teammate who is a favourite for the 2017 championship title as he made a mistake in the final sector of his flying lap.

Kent back to form with new team and machinery

British rider Danny Kent, now of the Kiefer Racing Team on the Suter machinery, was the third quickest by the end of Free Practice 3. A long awaited improvement from the Brit, who experienced a difficult 2016 season, should have definitely felt a boost in confidence following his result by the end of day two.

Thomas Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten) was fourth quickest ahead of Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) in fifth; the Swiss rider missed the end of the 2016 season as his former team let him go as he announced his new contract signing.

Tech 3 rider, Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) was the sixth quickest rider as he finished less than half a second slower than leader Morbidelli. Rookie to the Moto2 class, Fabio Quartararo, on the Pons HP40 Kalex was the fastest of the newcomers to the class in seventh.

Behind him, Miguel Oliveira, who has rejoined his old team Red Bull KTM Ajo who have chosen to take on the challenges of the Moto2 class, was eighth quickest on track. Schrotter was able to return to the track at the end of the session after his crash but could not improve so was ninth quickest during FP3. Jesko Raffin (Garage plus Interwetten) completed the top 10 at the end of FP3.

Moto2 rookie, Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini) finished the second day in 11th. Unfortunately for Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team), when he completed his last flying lap, he ran wide at turn 14. Due to overuse of the track, his lap time was cancelled and the Italian had to settle as being the 12th quickest by the end of FP3.

Combined results at the end of day two

Combining the times from the three Free Practice sessions so far, Morbidelli remained quickest ahead of Marquez, Luthi and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia); who despite only finishing 15th on day two, placed fourth overall. Oliveira was also better on combined times in fifth meaning that Kent was pushed down to sixth ahead of Aegerter, Vierge, and rookies Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Francesco Bagnaia and Quartararo who completed the top 10.