Our championship leader, Aron Canet, leads the way ahead of qualifying. He set a blisteringly fast lap in Free Practice 3, smashing the previous Moto3 lap record for the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Free Practice 1
As the action kicked off on Friday, our first session of the weekend was dominated by one team only. The timing sheets were topped by the Estrella Galicia 0,0 pairing of Alonso Lopez and Sergio Garcia, who took first and second respectively.
Lopez set the standard of the day, laying down a lap time of 1:49.167. This put him just 0.017 seconds ahead of his rookie team-mate, Garcia. However, it wasn’t just the leading pair who were close. The top fourteen riders were split by just one second.
Estrella Galicia’s closest rival was Gabriel Rodrigo on the Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 machine. He was just 0.047 seconds away from the leading time and will be hoping for more as the weekend continues.
A last minute fast lap from Darryn Binder propelled his CIP Green Power machine up to fourth. Just 0.088 seconds behind him was Can Öncü, who rounded out the top five.
Free Practice 2
Lopez’s flying lap from the first practice session was so strong that it remained the fastest time of the weekend as the chequered flag fell for Free Practice 2.
However, the second session alone was topped by Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who set a lap time of 1:49.213. He seems to have put the disappointment of his home race behind him, where he lost the victory in a photo finish at the line.
Just 0.162 seconds behind Dalla Porta was SIC58 Squadra Corse rider, Tatsuki Suzuki. Enjoying a promotion of one place compared for Free Practice One, Gabriel Rodrigo set the third fastest time in this session.
Behind the Argentinian rider was Romano Fenati and Niccolo Antonelli who took fifth and sixth respectively. The top ten was rounded out by Marcos Ramirez, Albert Arenas and Kazuki Masaki.
Unlike the warm sunshine for Free Practice One, the second session struggled with light rain towards the closing stages. This ruined any chances of a late attempt for a fast lap and saw few riders able to improve on their Free Practice One lap times.
Free Practice 3
The final practice session of the weekend, kicking off the action on Saturday morning, certainly woke up the grandstands with a shake. Our current championship leader, Aron Canet laid down a spectacular lap to smash the Moto3 lap record.
His lap time of 1:48.433 was not only a tenth of a second quicker than the previous record, but he was also a tenth of a second fastest than his nearest rival. This clearly states Canet’s intentions, ahead of qualifying.
Just behind him was Niccolo Antonelli and the hugely consistent Gabriel Rodrigo, who has stayed within the top five in every session so far this weekend. Rodrigo managed to find a further six tenths of a second to smash his Friday lap times.
Also making huge improvements on Saturday morning was Raul Fernandez, who managed to find another 1.4 seconds on his Sama Qatar Nieto machine. This propels him from nineteenth to fourth overall.
Just behind him, and rounding out the top six for Free Practice 3, was Makar Yurchenko and Jaume Masia. They were within 0.32 seconds of the leading lap time.
Despite imrpoving on his Friday lap times, both Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders were down in seventh and eighth, whilst Ramirez and Dalla Porta rounded out the top ten.
Also safely through to Qualifying 2 are our winner from last time out, Tony Arbolino in eleventh. He will be joined by Carlos Tatay, Darryn Binder and John McPhee, who took twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth respectively.