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MotoGP Misano #2: Record breaker Masia tops Friday's Moto3 times

Leopard Racing’s Jaume Masia dominated Moto3’s Free Practice ahead of MotoGP  Misano #2, setting an all-time lap record this afternoon to control the standings ahead of Raul Fernandez and Celestino Vietti, Tatsuki Suzuki and Andrea Migno rounding out the top-five.

A steady start to the second Italian weekend saw John McPhee finish Friday 15th in the combined times.  

The opening day of Moto3 practice had got off to a slightly subdued start with nine riders (Alcoba, Baltus, Binder, Fenati, Kofler, , Nepa, Ogura, Suzuki and Tatay) missing the first 10 minutes of track action in the morning session, a further 12 (Antonelli, Arenas, Dupasquier, Fernandez, Garcia, Lopez, Pawi, Rodrigo, Rossi, Salač, Sasaki and Toba) losing the first 15 minutes of the afternoon.


In total, 24 riders were charged with riding slowly during last weekend’s FP3, with five more (Arbolino, Foggia, Masia, Pizzoli and Yamanaka) suspended from the final 15 minutes of Saturday morning, thanks to third-time offences, while Garcia and Lopez pick up long-lap race penalties.

McPhee, Kunii, Vietti and Öncü the only riders not to be penalised during the previous visit to Misano.  

An impressive effort of 1’41.962 had seen Raul Fernandez fastest at the close of FP1, with Jeremy Alcoba, Dennis Foggia, Gabriel Rodrigo and Migno for company in the top five. Championship-leader Albert Arenas held P8 ahead of newly-signed Darryn Binder, who will swap KTM for Honda machinery as he moves to the Petronas Sprinta team for 2021.

The home talent came out fighting for FP2 with Tony Arbolino and Romano Fenati initially dicing for honours as the Italian duo repeatedly swapped places at the head of the times with Vietti joining the party at the halfway stage. Morning victor, Fernandez, regained his control of the times with 18 minutes to go before a crash at turn 6 curtailed his progress.

Having already served the 15 minute penalty, Gabriel Rodrigo suffered a particularly short practice finding the gravel at turn 16 after just four laps on track. Returning for a further equally brief run, the Argentinian’s best left him 12th in the session but his earlier morning effort secured him ninth overall.

A frenetic final ten minutes saw a multitude of riders battling for glory, and provisional Q2 qualification, as Arbolino, Suzuki, Vietti, Migno and Foggia all joined the top-five. SKY rider Vietti holding court with four to go before losing out to Masia as red sectors dominated the timing screens in the final minute, his record-breaking 1’41’663 all but assuring him of a safe time tomorrow despite his FP3 penalty.

A quiet morning for McPhee, after finishing 20th, soon picked up for the afternoon session as the Scot joined the top-five in the opening ten minutes. Circulating at the tail end of the top-10 for the mid-part of the session he soon made his presence known, claiming third with his tenth effort of the afternoon. A final flourish saw the Petronas rider hit 1’42.445 on his 17th revolution sitting him 14th in the session and 15th in the combined timings.

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