Marini dominates to top opening day in Mugello

by Ryan Lilly

Sky VR46’s Luca Marini has topped the first day at Mugello in dominant style,finishing fastest in both Free Practice one and two in the Tuscan hills.

Marini – who hasn’t had the greatest start to 2019 – seems to be happy to return to Italy, ending the opening day eight thousands of a second faster than Swiss rider Tom Luthi.

Returning to Moto2 action once again, Mattia Pasini rounded out the top three onboard the Petronas Sprinta bike, as he looks to make amends after getting caught up in the accident for Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri last time out in Le Mans.

Marcel Schrotter looks to have returned to form after the injury sustained in a training crash, he completed the opening day of action in fourth just ahead of the fastest ever Moto2 rider Nicolo Bulega who hit 300kmph during Free Practice two. Bulega was the top rookie on day one, continuing the trend set by fellow academy rider Francesco Bagnaia in the MotoGP class.

Jorge Navarro rounded out the top six, just ahead of the fastest KTM so far, Jorge Martin. Martin’s quickest time was +0.562s shy of Marini’s fastest of a 1:51.986s and was just two tenths quicker than his teammate Brad Binder who was down in thirteenth position.

Enea Bastianini continues his fine form in the intermediate class, coming off the back of his best ever finish in Le Mans (seventh) – Enea ended day one +0.582s off the pace in Eighth overall. Bastianini was just ahead of fellow rookie and Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio who had been running inside the top three for the early part of the session.

Simone Corsi completed the top ten onboard his Tasca Racing Kalex, with Gardner leading Alex Marquez who was the victor last time out in Le Mans. Sam Lowes came home in fourteenth just behind the 2016 Moto3 World Champion, Brad Binder.

Japanese rider Nagashima completed the top fifteen whilst championship contenders Vierge, Baldassarri and Fernandez were all down in sixteenth, eighteenth and twentieth overall.

The Moto2 riders will have another chance to get into the all-important top fourteen positions to get them directly into Qualifying two with Free Practice three kicking off at 09:55 am, with Qualifying to commence at 14:05 pm.

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