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MotoGP Aragon: Di Giannantonio heads Moto2, Lowes third

Fabio Di Giannantonio claimed Friday honours for the Aragon GP after the opening Moto2 free practices, beating Marco Bezzecchi and Sam Lowes with a 1’52.748 set on his 11th of 16 laps around the 5km circuit. Class-leader Luca Marini finished in fifth, with Jake Dixon 14th.

Lowes set the early benchmark after five minutes on track in the morning session and with the timing screens ablaze of red. Relegated briefly to 11th he immediately hit the top again, two seconds quicker than his earlier lap and 0.6 ahead of the rest of the field. Bo Bendsneyder, Jorge Martin and Bezzecchi matched the Brit as they attempted to better his times but Lowes repeated his dominance on each consecutive revolution until Di Giannantonio joined the fight with only ten minutes gone.

The Brit’s confidence with the Spanish track, however, meant he continued to shine as the session developed, holding close to a second’s lead at the halfway stage and waiting until the countdown hit 8’ to go before any further challenges registered - Marcel Schrotter coming within a tenth as the times reignited.


The final five minutes saw Dixon enter the top-four, just three-tenths shy of last weekend’s race winner, Schrotter and DiGi splitting the pair with Jorge Navarro and Joe Roberts - now signed to Italtrans for 2021 - narrowly behind in an intensely close top-six. A closing challenge from Marini put the Sky machine into fourth, Navarro following to relegate Dixon to six at the flag as the top-three remained unchanged. Bezzecchi concluded the morning practice in ninth ahead of Martin and Lorenzo Baldassari with Remy Gardner down in 18th.

A warm afternoon found temperatures rising to 25℃, from the morning’s tepid 12℃, allowing the final practice of the day to get fully up to speed as Lowes lost no time in reasserting his dominance on the standings. Bezzecchi and Gardner both looked to consistently challenge but were immediately dropped by the ever-advancing Marc VDS machine at each attempt, with Di Giannantonio and Marcos Ramirez joining the top-five fight after four laps of action.

15 minutes gone and Marini slid into third before progressing to second on his 10th attempt while title-challenger Enea Bastianini circulated on the edge of the top-10, seven-tenth’s adrift of Lowes’ 1’52.882 pace, with last week’s pole-sitter, Roberts, behind in 11th.

New tyres installed, the final runs saw Marini and Bezzecchi look to trouble Lowes’ times, the latter VR46 rider taking control before Di Giannantonio advanced to the top, the Brit unable to challenge as he lost the front at turn seven with six minutes still to run.

A spate of crashes dotted the closing minutes as Andi Izdihar, Piotr Biesiekirski and Kasma Daniel all found the gravel, Bastianini saving his Italtrans on his elbow before moving up to sixth on his next lap as Edgae Pons found his way into fourth.

With the flag out, Di Giannantonio kept his cool and control of the times from Bezzecchi and Lowes while Pons and Marini concluded the top-five. Bastianini held sixth from Ramirez, Gardner, Martin and Roberts, with Navarro 11th, Schrotter 12th, Hector Garzo 13th and a last-lap increase from Dixon claiming the final Q2 spot in 14th.

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