Pedro Acosta shook off the temperamental weather conditions to lead the way in the second Moto2 Friday Practice sessions and firmly establish himself as the rider to beat at Circuit of The Americas.
The Spaniard was the only rider to dip under 2m 10s on the KTM Ajo Kalex, Acosta’s table topping 2m 09.856secs lap coming in the dying moments of a P2 session that only came alive in the final seconds.
Indeed, with intermittent drizzle spooking most of the riders at various stages of the session, it took until the last couple of minutes for the conditions to clear enough for riders to attempt time attack laps.
Allowing Acosta to lift himself from a P1 position of fourth to first, notably his quickest time came amid a flurry of rapid consecutive laps that should confirm him as the form man in Texas this weekend.
Championship leader Tony Arbolino sprung from 14th to second with the last lap of the P2 session, the Argentina Moto2 race winner 0.2secs shy of Acosta.
Aron Canet completed the top three on the Pons entry, ahead of top American representative Joe Roberts, the local favourite finding 1.2secs of lap time to take his Italtrans to fourth from 14th.
P1 pace setter Jake Dixon nibbled at his earlier benchmark to book his place into Q2 easily in fifth, the British rider just ahead of countryman Sam Lowes in sixth on the Marc VDS bike.
Only 18th after P1, Albert Arenas slashed 1.9secs off his best time to end Friday in seventh place, ahead of Somkiat Chantra, the Indonesian rider holding onto a safe Q2 spot despite failing to improve on his P1 effort.
A fixture in the top ten throughout both sessions, Barry Baltus ended his strong day on the NTS machine in ninth, with Filip Salac completing the top ten.
With competition fierce for the 14 spots to guarantee a passage to Q2, Bo Bendsneyder, Darryn Binder, Alonso Lopez and Fermin Aldeguer got the edge in 11th to 14th respectively.
It means Celestino Vietti will be appearing in Q1, along with Jeremy Alcoba and Manuel Gonzalez.
Elsewhere, Rory Skinner enjoyed the best qualifying session of his burgeoning Moto2 career, out-qualifying American Racing team-mate Sean Dylan Kelly in 21st, +1.3secs off a Q2 spot in 14th.
Moto3 Results after P2 - Grand Prix of The Americas | COTA
|Grand Prix of the Americas, USA Moto2 | P2 Results | Circuit of The Americas | Round 3 / 21|
|1||Pedro Acosta||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||2m 09.856|
|2||Tony Arbolino||ITA||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||2m 10.079|
|3||Aron Canet||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||2m 10.130|
|4||Joe Roberts||USA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||2m 10.213|
|5||Jake Dixon||GBR||GasGas Aspar Team||Kalex||2m 10.343|
|6||Sam Lowes||GBR||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||2m 10.361|
|7||Albert Arenas||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||2m 10.362|
|8||Somkiat Chantra||THA||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||Kalex||2m 10.525|
|9||Barry Baltus||BEL||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||2m 10.256|
|10||Filip Salac||CZE||QJmotor Gresini||Kalex||2m 10.538|
|11||Bo Bendsneyder||NED||Pertamina Mandalika SAG||Kalex||2m 10.636|
|12||Darryn Binder||RSA||Husqvarna Intact GP||Kalex||2m 10.654|
|13||Alonso Lopez||ESP||Speed Up Racing||Boscoscuro||2m 10.769|
|14||Fermin Aldeguar||ESP||Speed Up Racing||Boscoscuro||2m 10.686|
|15||Celestino Vietti||ITA||Fantic Racing||Kalex||2m 10.777|
|16||Jeremy Alcoba||ESP||QJmotor Gresini||Kalex||2m 10.790|
|17||Manuel Gonzalez||ESP||Yamaha VR46 Master Camp||Kalex||2m 10.856|
|18||Zonta vd Goorbergh||NED||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||2m 11.486|
|19||Dennis Foggia||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||2m 11.675|
|20||Sergio Garcia||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||2m 11.917|
|21||Rory Skinner||GBR||American Racing||Kalex||2m 11.964|
|22||Ai Ogura||JPN||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||Kalex||2m 11.972|
|23||Marcos Ramirez||ESP||Forward Team||Forward||2m 12.110|
|24||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||ITA||Pertamina Mandalika SAG||Kalex||2m 12.198|
|25||Sean Dylan Kelly||USA||American Racing||Kalex||2m 12.267|
|26||Lukas Tulovic||GER||Husqvarna Intact GP||Kalex||2m 12.898|
|28||Borja Gomez||ESP||Fantic Racing||Kalex||2m 13.103|
|27||Izan Guevara||ESP||GasGas Aspar Team||Kalex||2m 13.406|
|29||David Sanchis||ESP||Forward Team||Forward||2m 14.933|
|30||Soichiro Minamimoto||JPN||Yamaha VR46 Master Camp||Kalex||2m 16.352|