Fernandez shines on opening day of Aragon Grand Prix16/10/2020
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider sets the best overall time from FP1 and FP2, with teammate Kaito Toba 12th.
Continuing a Friday trend, Red Bull KTM Ajo and Raul Fernandez set the pace on the opening day of the Aragon Grand Prix. Despite low temperatures that the Moto3 class riders had to endure in the morning, the Spaniard showed his full potential in the afternoon to head the field in FP2. The Day 1 result means that he has provisionally qualified for Q2 tomorrow, just like teammate Kaito Toba. The Japanese was 12th on the combined timesheets.
In the morning, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo employed a conservative strategy, as the low temperatures on the Aragonese track – reaching just 8 degrees – increased the risk of a crash. Nevertheless, Fernandez led the way in the first minutes of the session, lowering his times with each stint. On his last of 14 laps, the Spaniard set a 2:00.367 which earned him fourth place. Toba also completed 14 laps in the FP1, gaining more experience on his KTM. The Japanese finished 18th after stopping the clock at 2:01.254.
The temperature increased for FP2, notably improving the track conditions. Fernandez asserted his authority with a great pace, leading the session almost for its entirety. The Spaniard ended the day on top with a personal best of 1:58.144, 4 tenths quicker than his nearest rival. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider put in 15 laps, just like his teammate. Toba took a noticeable step forward in the afternoon and was in the upper half of the timesheets before claiming 12th with a 1:59.176.
A final Free Practice takes place tomorrow morning, followed by Q1 qualifying at 12:35 pm local time. Q2 gets underway at 1 pm.
Results – FP1 & FP2
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.144
2. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 1:58.582 +0.438
3. Albert Arenas (KTM) 1:58.676 +0.532
4. Darryn Binder (KTM) 1:58.689 +0.545
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:58.763 +0.619
12. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.176 +1.032
25 RAUL FERNANDEZ
“I’m very happy with how today went. We weren’t able to make the most of the first session due to the temperatures, so in FP2 we had a lot of accumulated work to get through. However, we managed to handle it well, since the base setup of the bike was quite good. I am satisfied with the pace we have and, although we still have to take another step forward, I am strong enough to be able to fight for a good result.”
27 KAITO TOBA
“We started the Grand Prix in an optimal way. I’m happy with how today went, as this is a track at which I almost always struggle a bit. It seems like this year it’s going well from the first practice. We still need to improve some aspects, so we will try to do that for tomorrow’s qualifying session. We will work hard to get a good position on the grid.”