Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) is officially the pace-setter following the first two Moto2™ practice sessions at the SHARK Grand Prix de France. The Thai rider broke the All Time Lap Record in FP1 and while Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went even faster in FP2, that lap does not count due to the presence of a yellow flag. Chantra had knocked off Francesco Bagnaia’s four-year-old Moto2™ benchmark at Le Mans when he clocked a 1:36.108 in FP1, but it looked like his bragging rights would last only a handful of hours. With around five minutes to go in the second session of the day, Fernandez came through with a 1:36.030, but had done so by transiting a yellow flag zone triggered by a crash for Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP). Instead, top Red Bull KTM Ajo rider is Pedro Acosta, second on combined times after setting a 1:36.166 which was fastest in FP2, with Fernandez third. The latter was officially third-fastest in FP2 on a 1:36.394, although he had gone even faster than that in clocking a 1:36.263 in FP1. As was the case in the MotoGP™ session which preceded it, there were in fact a number of crashes in Moto2™’s second practice session. Sam Lowes was among those who hit the deck, but still finished up fourth overall thanks to a 1:36.403. His fellow Elf Marc VDS Racing Team rider, Tony Arbolino, joined him in the combined top five having gone as quick as a 1:36.517. Schrötter is in the top half of the provisional Q2 places, as is fellow crasher Stefano Manzi (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team). The German sits sixth after clocking a 1:36.589 in FP2 while Manzi is seventh courtesy of his personal-best time from FP1. Spanish GP winner Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) occupies ninth spot, while World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) is 11th. No further action was taken over the collision between Vietti and Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) in FP1. As it stands, Canet is the last rider directly into Q2, in 14th position, after he also had a spill in FP2.
Bo Bendsneyder was 23rd in FP1 , but managed to better his time in FP2 over more than 6 tenth; wich saw him at P15 at the end of the session. In combined standings after FP2 he is in 18th. So some work to do to try to get to Q2 directly tomorrow.