Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini topped the Moto3 timesheets on day one of the Misano MotoGP weekend, fending off a late charge from champion-elect Brad Binder in the second free practice session to lead the South African by 0.169s.
Bastianini put in a 1’42.805 on his 14th lap of 16 despite being in traffic and Red Bull KTM’s Binder just couldn’t match the Italian - born and bred in Rimini - settling for second place on a 1’42.974 set on his final lap of the Marco Simoncelli circuit.
“I’m happy with how it went the first day, because already in the morning session I was able to be fast and the feeling with the bike was good. In the afternoon with higher temperatures the track became more slippery, but we were still able to improve a little and stay in front of everyone, so we can be satisfied,” said Bastianini.
“However, it’s only Friday and tomorrow it won’t be easy, definitely: there are many riders who are strong, especially Binder, who is always very competitive. Tomorrow in qualifying the target is the front row, it will be important for the race.”
Joan Mir was third fastest with an impressive lap time for the Leopard Racing rookie, although the Spaniard did suffer a run off on another attempt at a hot lap. With the raw pace looking impressive, the Austrian GP winner set himself up well for the San Marino GP.
Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) impressed on day 1 on the Riviera di Rimini to go fourth fastest, ahead of Bastianini’s rookie teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio, who had another great day in the world championship to lock out the top 5. Title contender Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was sixth at the end of Friday, with Livio Loi (RW Racing GP BV) in P7 in an impressive Friday showing.
Philipp Oettl (Schedl Racing GP) remained in P7 at the end of the day with his FP1 laptime, ahead of Andrea Migno. Migno was the fastest Sky Racing Team VR46 rider at their home GP in P9, with teammate Nicolo Bulega ending the day in P13.
Local rider Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) was ninth fastest in FP2 and tenth on combined times, ahead of Gaviota Mahindra Aspar rider Jorge Martin. Martin’s teammate Francesco Bagnaia was unable to finish his Friday as planned after a problem with the clutch, and was down in P17 for the final few minutes of the second session before ending up P25.
The Italian poleman last time out will be looking to quickly move up the timesheets when he gets back out on track on Saturday, as qualifying takes place for Mahindra’s 100th race in the world championship.
Scotland’s John McPhee ended the day in 18th place.