Moto2 Qatar: Baldassarri blasts ahead in Friday practice

Lorenzo Baldassarri took control on day one as the opening night for the intermediate Moto2 class drew to a close at the floodlit Losail track in Qatar.
Moto2 Qatar: Baldassarri blasts ahead in Friday practice

At the end of day one it was Lorenzo Baldassarri who rose to the top as he managed the changes to the intermediate class and track conditions with skill and maturity to top the timesheets in Moto2 in preparation for the Qatar Grand Prix.

Wrapping up their track time under the floodlights, the Flexbox HP40 rider left it until the final two minutes of the session to post his best of 1m 58.635s, as the cooler, cleaner track meant improved times for many, riding his Kalex with ease and getting to grips with the new Triumph engine effortlessly.

His time pushed Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt IntactGP) down to second after he too made late progress.

Remy Gardner, coming to Qatar on the back of a strong showing in testing, was also in contention to finish the day on top, before landing an eventual third for SAG Team.



Sam Lowes, who was impressive in testing, especially the final Qatar test where he lead the way, could not quite match that promise for Gresini after a mechanical issue curtailed his first session (where he finished 16th), but bounced back for fourth at the end of FP2.

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) also lead for a short spell on his way to fifth overall, with Jorge Navarro the best of the Speed Up riders in sixth.

Italtrans man Andrea Locatelli was eighth, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) eighth, Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) ninth, with Enea Bastianini the best of the rookies to complete the top ten on the second Italtrans entry.

Bo Bendsneyder (RW Racing) was the surprise package of FP1, claiming third in that session with the NTS, he had a good showing in the evening to to finish 12th overall.

Tom Luthi (Dynavolt IntactGP) did not have the return to Moto2 he might have hoped for - a huge highside despite his experience hampered his progress, leaving the Swiss veteran down in 13th. Bendsneyder did well to miss both rider and bike as they tumbled in front of him.

2018 Moto3 champion Jorge Martin finished his first Moto2 appearance in 14th on the second Red Bull KTM Ajo entry.

Brit Jake Dixon (Angel Nieto Team) will need to hope improvements can still be found in the daylight of FP3 as he could only manage a best of 30th on his debut.

Moto2 will have their first taste of the new qualifying format when they return to track on Saturday, with the first 14 riders in FP3 heading to Q2.