Thomas Luthi proved the man to beat in Moto2 on Friday as the 29-year-old topped free practise on Friday as the middleweight class got the best of the weather.
After testing the KTM MotoGP in Mugello, the change in bikes hasn’t upset his early season form as he ended fastest rider of the day, being able to drop into 1’37s.
Luthi is 23 points behind Moto2 leader Alex Rins, who could only manage eighth of Friday with a 1’38 on his Kalex, after the Spaniard lost his bike at Turn 4, but with 11 minutes in free practice remaining, the 20-year-old was able to return to the track following a fantastic repair job by his team.
Japanese rider fastest in first Free Pracitce session
Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) topped Free Practice 1, but his second session came to an early end after falling with three minutes remaining.
Although unhurt, the team will be working hard to ensure they get the bike fixed ahead of Free Practice 3.
Championship contender Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) finished third in Free Practice for the day, completing a 1’38.320 lap to finish just 0.358s behind Luthi, which meant that the Brit was the only rider in the top three of the championship to end Friday’s Free Practice in the top five.
Teammates Alex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) finished in fourth and fifth for the day, with the former a faller during the session after coming off at Turn 15.
Disappointment for French rider
After back-to-back victories in Mugello and Barcelona, Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) continued where he left off in the first session, with the French rider setting a 1’38.446, after a couple of his lap times had to be discounted due to running wide and cutting the final chicane.
Unfortunately after a positive Free Practice 1, the 25-year-old was only just able to shave a couple of tenths of his time to finish sixth in the days timings with a 1’38.407.
Free Practice standings
|1||Thomas Luthi||Garage Plus Interwetten||1'37.962|
|2||Takaaki Nakagami||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||1'38.229|
|3||Sam Lowes||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||1'38.320|
|4||Alex Marquez||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||1'38.371|
|5||Franco Morbidelli||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||1'38.406|
|6||Johann Zarco||Ajo Motorsport||1'38.407|
|7||Sandro Cortese||Dynavolt Intact GP||1'38.483|
|8||Alex Rins||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1'38.536|
|9||Lorenzo Baldassarri||Forward Team||1'38.645|
|10||Jonas Folger||Dynavolt Intact GP||1'38.678|