Sam Lowes continued on from where he left off at Jerez by topping the timesheets on the opening day of action for the 2023 French Moto2 at Le Mans.
Fresh from claiming a dominant tenth career victory last time out in Spain, Lowes - who suffered two crashes in the cooler conditions of Practice 1 earlier in the day - turned his fortunes back around with rapid final time attack effort during the closing stages of Practice 2.
Stopping the clock at 1m 36.178secs to dethrone long-time pace setter Pedro Acosta, Lowes remained top as the flag fell, just under a tenth ahead of the championship leading Spaniard.
Alonso Lopez turned in the third fastest time of the day to complete an identical top three to that of the Spanish MotoGP, though the SpeedUp rider was one of several riders to take a tumble around the notoriously tricky French venue.
QJmoto Gresini's Filip Salac continued to shine over single lap with the fourth fastest time of the day, ahead of Fantic Racing's Celestino Vietti and GasGas Aspar's Jake Dixon in sixth, the latter Briton shrugging off one of several front-end folds into the tricky cambered Turn 7 left-hander.
Championship contender Tony Arbolino ensured both Marc VDS Kalex machines featured well inside the top ten in seventh, with Somkiat Chantra (Honda Team Asia), Albert Arenas (KTM Ajo) and Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp) rounding out the top ten.
With Le Mans living up to its reputation for pushing bike's grip levels to the limit, Moto2 saw its fair share of falls over the course of the day, not least Aron Canet who - after surviving a wild ride on the exit of the final corner - proceeded to crash properly moments later, then again upon returning to the circuit later in the session.
Similarly, American Racing's start to the weekend was dictated by four crashes - two each for Sean Dylan Kelly and Rory Skinner - within the first-half of P1.
Compounding what has been a tough start to the French Moto2 for the Scottish rider, he could only manage the 28th fastest time.
French Moto2 | Practice 2 Results
P1 + P2 Times Combined | Le Mans | Conditions - Dry, Sunny, Warm
|2023 French Moto2 | Le Mans, France | Practice 2 Results | Round 5 of 20|
|1||Sam Lowes||GBR||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 36.178|
|2||Pedro Acosta||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 36.183|
|3||Alonso Lopez||ESP||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 36.271|
|4||Filip Salac||CZE||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 36.477|
|5||Celestino Vietti||ITA||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 36.491|
|6||Jake Dixon||GBR||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 36.514|
|7||Tony Arbolino||ITA||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 36.637|
|8||Somkiat Chantra||THA||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 36.650|
|9||Albert Arenas||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 36.844|
|10||Manuel Gonzalez||JPN||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||1m 36.929|
|11||Ai Ogura||JPN||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 36.934|
|12||Sergio Garcia||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 36.951|
|13||Aron Canet||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 36.975|
|14||Joe Roberts||USA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 37.001|
|15||Dennis Foggia||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 37.050|
|16||Fermin Aldeguer||ESP||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 37.097|
|17||Barry Baltus||BEL||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 37.107|
|18||Marcos Ramirez||ESP||Forward Team||Forward||1m 37.111|
|19||Lukas Tulovic||GER||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 37.181|
|20||Sean Dylan Kelly||USA||American Racing||Kalex||1m 37.194|
|21||Jeremy Alcoba||ESP||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 37.258|
|22||Bo Bendsneyder||NED||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 37.294|
|23||Izan Guevara||ESP||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 37.485|
|24||Zonta van den Goorbergh||NED||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 37.511|
|25||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||ITA||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 37.593|
|26||Senna Agius||AUS||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 38.007|
|27||Borja Gomez||ESP||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 38.580|
|28||Rory Skinner||GBR||American Racing||Kalex||1m 38.722|
|29||Alex Escrig||ESP||Forward Team||Forward||1m 39.575|
|W||Kohta Nozane||JPN||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex|