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MotoGP Mandalika: Dixon dominates Friday’s Moto2 action

Aspar’s Jake Dixon finished Friday action in charge of the Moto2 standings after setting the only 1’35 lap at the Mandalika Circuit.

QatarGP winner Celestino Vietti maintained his impressive showing on the Mooney VR46 in second, half a second back of the Brit’s standout time, with Marc VDS’ podium sitter Sam Lowes claiming third.
Despite his ongoing wrist issues, Lowes started his Indonesian weekend strongly, leading the way as the Intermediate class took to the Lombok layout for the first time on Friday morning,

The Elf rider utilised the final drying minutes of a damp session to hit the track on Dunlop slicks, dominating the pace over a second clear of his nearest rivals with a 1’44.439 effort.


American Joe Roberts sat second on the Italtrans Racing machine with Tony Arbolino keeping in touch with his Marc VDS teammate for third, albeit 2.4s off. Vietti maintained his front-running form in fourth with second Brit Dixon rounding out the top five on the Inde GasGas Aspar in the challenging conditions.

Just 18 riders set a qualifying time in the opening 40-minutes with Simone Corsi and Albert Arenas the first outside of the 105 per cent margin as the session concluded.

The afternoon provided further potential as dry and bright conditions greeted the 30 runners for FP2. Filip Salac claiming the first crash of the day as his Gresini slid out at turn two on his first flying lap.

Times instantly bettered those of FP1 as the hot laps began to register. Pedro Acosta outmanoeuvring Lowes at the top from the outset as the pair circulated a tenth apart with the KTM rookie on 1’38.033 pace. Dixon was the next to strike as the Brit took charge with the first 1’37 of the day, Acosta bettering almost instantly as Aron Canet took third.

Turn two came close to claiming a second victim as Zonta Van Den Goorbergh saved an impressive moment with half an hour to go, Augusto Fernandez joining his Ajo teammate at the top moments later.

Lowes continued to fine-tune his lap as he returned to fourth behind the KTM and Pons riders with Idemitsu Honda’s Somkiat Chantra rising from fifth to first on his seventh attempt. Canet became the next to crash out at the seemingly perilous second corner with Acosta suffering a highside seconds later at the same turn - while under yellow flags.

Fermin Aldeguer and Fernandez took turns at the top before Lowes returned to the lead with 23 minutes left on the clock. The Brit breaking the 1’37 barrier on his ninth lap of the afternoon with a 1’36.857.

A turn 16 incident saw Arbolino cruising on the racing line as Vietti collected the Marc VDS man, the Italian having already been caught in a similar fashion during the morning outing. A cruising Fernandez likewise sending Arenas wide with 15 minutes left to run.

Former WorldSSP300 Champion Manuel Gonzalez was the next to shine as the VR46 Master Camp rider advanced to second, just 0.114s behind the Brit. KTM’s Fernandez and Acosta heading Chantra in the top five as Jorge Navarro demoted Dixon for sixth.


Bo Bendsneyder promoted the Pertamina Mandalika SAG to fourth as Sean Dylan Kelley became the next to fall. Aldeguer and Vietti heading the times with six minutes to go as the pace continued to increase.

An English one-two saw Dixon take charge over Lowes with a 1’35.897 and two minutes remanning. The Aspar rider half a second ahead as the Marc VDS crashed out of a personal best at turn 10 next time around.

Vietti upped the pace in the closing stages to split the leading pair, in second, KTM’s Acosta and Fernandez consolidating the top five with Aldeguer, Arenas, Arbolino, Canet and Gonzalez completing the top ten.

Gabriel Rodrigo crashed out at turn 13 as the chequered flag flew, Navarro, American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier, last season’s teammate Marcos Ramirez and Romano Fenati claiming the final Q2 positions heading into Saturday.

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