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MotoGP Silverstone: New Moto3 track record for Fenati

Romano Fenati was a class above as Moto3 prepared for the BritishGP, the Sterilgarda Max rider claiming an all-time lap record at the Silverstone Circuit to top Friday practice with a 2’11.334.

Ayumu Sasaki and Niccolò Antonelli sat second and third with the solo local talent of John McPhee missing out on a provisional Q2 place, from 15th.

Friday morning got off to a cool start around the Northamptonshire circuit with air temperatures hovering around 13℃. Fenati set the early pace, already running over a second clear for the rest of the pack thanks to his first flying lap of a 2’15.726 before immediately improving again next time around. Andi Izdihar the only full-time rider not in attendance, due to visa complications.


Sergio Garcia had a major morning wake up call at turn 12 as he sent his GasGas Aspar across the grass after the opening 15-minutes before suffering a similar fate at Maggots, moments later.

Fenati retained command of the times as FP1 continued, the Max Racing Husqvarna sitting pretty with a 2’13.652 from Dennis Foggia and Sasaki. McPhee suffering the first fall of the day, with a massive highside at turn 12 after 17-minutes of action and from 15th position.

His Petronas teammate, Darryn Binder, sat fourth at the halfway stage. The South African hotly tipped for a direct GP promotion next season as the Sepang Circuit/Petronas team structure is disbanded with McPhee’s future, so far, unknown.

The yellow flags were out again with just over 10-minutes remaining as Lorenzo Fellon became the next to succumb to turn 12, Fenati once again increasing the pace at the top of the times. Pedro Acosta ran as top-rookie once again, this time in sixth, as he familiarised himself with the UK track at the head of a three-KTM train, Deniz Öncü and Jaume Masia closely behind.

The final four minutes saw the times heat up, while Fenati remained firmly in control. 2’12.321 the pace to beat with Jeremy Alcoba and Gabriel Rodrigo sitting half-a-second back on the Italian, Sasaki and Filip Salac a second adrift in fourth and fifth.

Luffield claimed two victims in the closing stages as Öncü and Stefano Nepa crashed out in the final minute, Fenati consolidating his dominance by increasing the target in the dying seconds with a 2’12.196. McPhee failing to return to the session, in 24th.

The cloudy afternoon allowed only a gently improvement in temperatures with the track registering just 6℃ higher than its morning conditions, with a peak of 23℃.

Öncü set the pace as FP2 got going, his 2’112.522 immediately bettering all but one of the lightweight class’ earlier times, just three-tenths shy of Fenati’s target. The Italian, himself quickly up to speed and edging closer to his best overall.

Binder ran third after the opening 10-minutes, with Salac and Masia looking to challenge as the session warmed up. Fenati back in charge with his fourth attempt.


Nepa advanced to fourth five-minutes later with Tatsuki Suzuki entering the top-six moments later. Rivacold Snipers’ Andrea Migno and Alberto Surra sat eighth and ninth, behind Binder and ahead of Fellon as the first 15-minutes came to an end, McPhee back on track but running 15th after his morning fall.

Izan Guevara arrived in style at the half-way stage, his 1’12.373 topping the session and just over a tenth shy of the outright pace. A battle at the top developed between Guevara and Fenati with the pair swapping places in the following laps, the Italian returning to the top with a dominant 2’11.487 to claim a new track record and with a second flyer in the tank. Rodrigo getting in on the action, in second, albeit now six-tenths back.

The final seven minutes set up a late-session shootout as the bikes returned to the 6km track en masse. Sergio Garcia the first to strike, having promoted himself from 26th to fourth with Binder into second moments later.

Antonelli was the next to take the runner-up spot, as Salac crashed out at the first corner. The second Avintia was up to sixth as Carlos Tatay shuffled the standings further, before the KTM’s prepared to strike.


Sasaki took second with Acosta sixth as the flag prepared to fly, the last lap efforts finding Antonelli, Riccardo Rossi and Foggia rounding out the top-five as Binder dropped to sixth, Acosta ninth. McPhee unlucky to miss out on provisional Q2 contention as he remained 15th.

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