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MotoGP Misano: Luthi leads wet Moto2 practice

A wet Misano greeted Moto2 for Friday practice with both sessions being hit by torrential rain, Tom Luthi and Marco Bezzecchi competing for honours in the times.

The Pertamina Mandalika rider topped the day with a fastest lap of 1’50.140 overall, the Italian achingly close in the afternoon session.

Sam Lowes and Jake Dixon sat third and fourth for the majority of the afternoon with the pair reversed, in sixth and eighth overall.


Opening practice saw the Moto2 class waiting for conditions to improve after a torrential rain storm hit the Adriatic track on Friday morning. Dixon tasked with getting to grips once again with intermediate machinery after a two-week promotion in the premier class with his Petronas team.

‘The Fish’ was fittingly on top of the standings as the early times came in, Hafizh Syahrin setting a 1’58.057 in the tricky conditions before Bezzecchi improved at his home track. Remy Gardner opening his Italian account in third followed by Nicolò Bulega and Barry Baltus, with Dixon sitting sixth.

Bezzecchi continued to improve the pace as the session bedded in, Luthi and Stefano Manzi sitting best of the rest, albeit over a second back on the local talent. While Lowes sat fifth with half an hour to go, the Brit circulating narrowly behind his Marc VDS teammate Augusto Fernandez, having set a best lap so far of 1’53.144.

The Sky VR46 rider hit a 1’50.455 at the halfway stage, Fernandez improving to second, eighth-tenths back, with Luthi, Marcel Schrotter and Lowes behind. Joe Roberts finding his wet-weather form in fourth moments later.

Luthi outmanoeuvred Bezzecchi after 11 laps on track, Dixon advancing to third shortly after with Lowes just 0.095s back, for fourth before Bulega improved into the top three.

Turn eight saw a major crash for Aron Canet in the closing 10 minutes, the rider sliding out before the bike barrel rolled through the gravel, Fernandez suffering a similar fate at turn four shortly after, although his Elf machine fared better in the runoff area.

The closing minutes saw Somkiat Chantra up to sixth from the fallen Fernandez, Manzi and Jorge Navarro. Hector Garzo completing the top 10 from Roberts and Canet. A difficult start to the weekend finding the KTMs of Gardner and Raul Fernandez circulating in 21st and 28th respectively.

Dixon suffered a late fall at turn four as the chequered flag prepared to fly, with Lorenzo Baldassarri also gravel tracking across turn eight on his return from injury.

The Moto2 class were greeted with a second wet session for the afternoon action as Syahrin headed out strongly once again. Bezzecchi leading his Sky VR46 teammate Celestino Vietti to the top of the times as the third laps began to register before Luthi took charge.


Dixon and Lowes were inseparable once again in fifth and sixth as they trailed Syahrin and Chantra before Gardner arrived to fourth.

The mid-session saw Dixon improve to second before Fernandez positioned his Marc VDS ahead, Lowes doing likewise moments later for an impressive Elf team performance while Bezzecchi honed his advantage out front to a 1’50.168.

The rain hit again as the session developed, torrential rain, light cloud and bright sun confusing the conditions as the pack returned to the pits with 15 minutes left to run.

With the session seeming to wind down in a sedate manner, the conditions began to trip up the tentative riders, Vietti narrowly saving a moment before Chantra endured a heavy crash in the closing seconds, having just set his fastest lap of the day, to sit fourth overall.

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