Pedro Acosta might have upstaged Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Augusto Fernandez in FP2 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana but the Moto2™ Championship leader should be feeling quietly confident with his performance. Fernandez’s fastest lap of the day was only 0.031 seconds slower than Acosta’s 1:34.948 around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in the afternoon session, and he was once again significantly quicker than his only remaining rival for the title, Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura.
The opening day of the 20th and final round of the season would belong to Red Bull KTM Ajo. It dominated FP1, when Fernandez set his 1:34.979 and the only rider within eight tenths of a second of the Spaniard was teammate and compatriot Acosta on a 1:35.206. Acosta got the upper hand in FP2, clocking the fastest lap of the day just under a dozen minutes into proceedings, but Fernandez was still second-quickest for the session on a 1:35.069. He also added to the highlights reel with a big save exiting Turn 4. Best of the rest would be Beta Tools Speed Up’s Alonso Lopez, and the Boscoscuro pilot well and truly showed that he is a threat for a third victory this season by closing to 0.180 seconds off the pace with a 1:35.128 halfway into FP2. Fourth for the day went to Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) on a 1:35.554 and fifth to Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) on a 1:35.571. Mattia Pasini, who is riding this weekend as an injury replacement for Barry Baltus at RW Racing GP, is sixth on the timesheet despite a spill in FP2, having already laid down a 1:35.623 in that session. Seventh on the timesheet currently belongs to last-start winner Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), from Cameron Beaubier (American Racing), another injury replacement rider in Borja Gomez (Flexbox HP40), and Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) in 10th. Ogura enters the weekend 9.5 points behind Fernandez in the Championship and right now, coincidentally, he is 0.905 seconds off the pace set by Acosta as he holds 11th on the timesheet. Bo Bendsneyder ( 21st in FP1) managed to set a faster time in FP2, but was even further down the list at the end of the session. He is 26th on the combined timesheet on day one in Valencia.
Source: motogp.com, stopandgo.es