Jorge Martin makes strong start to French Grand Prix


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider sets the second fastest time of the day at Le Mans, with teammate Tetsuta Nagashima 19th on the combined timesheets.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team showed their strength on the opening day of the French Grand Prix, tackling a track in mixed conditions and with low temperatures. Jorge Martin was second overall from the first two Free Practices of the weekend, just 0.4 tenths behind the fastest rider. Thanks to this result, the Spaniard holds a provisional spot in Q2. His teammate, Tetsuta Nagashima, finished 19th overall on Friday.

FP1 was contested in mixed conditions, due to the rain that had fallen early in the morning. Martin made a calm start to the session, given the tough situation that caused numerous crashes. The Spaniard nevertheless improved his times on each run that he made and placed sixth, stopping the clock at 1:51.912 on Lap 13 of a total of 16. Nagashima was 16th thanks to a 1:52.898, set on his penultimate attempt out of a total of 13. The Japanese rider spent the practice improving his confidence in the wet with the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 bike.

In the FP2, the track was almost dry and Martin was able to increase the pace at Le Mans. The Spaniard set the best time of the afternoon, but his last lap was cancelled after the chequered flag had fallen. He instead placed second, with a 1:37.762 from 19 laps – just 0.4 tenths behind the hottest time. Nagashima continued working on his machine, trying to find a better feeling. The Japanese finished the day 19th – 1:39.022 – after a further 18 laps.

Tomorrow morning sees the last Free Practice for the French Grand Prix, followed by Q1 at 3:10 pm and Q2 at 3:35 pm.


Results – FP1 & FP2
1. Jake Dixon (Kalex) 1:37.713
2. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.762 +0.049
3. Marco Bezzecchi (Kalex) 1:38.017 +0.304
4. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:38.155 +0.442
5. Augusto Fernandez (Kalex) 1:38.185 +0.472
19. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.022 +1.309



“I’m happy with how today went. This morning was a bit strange, as there were mixed conditions on the track. That is why we decided to be a bit more conservative in FP1; even so, we were competitive. In the afternoon, we did a great job and I was able to ride very comfortably from the start. Tomorrow it will be important to work in the same way and try to take a further step forward. The objective is to have a solid qualifying session, to be on one of the front rows of the grid on Sunday.”


“It was a tough day for us due to the changing weather conditions. In the morning, the track was wet, but I felt well. We also tested a few things during this session that worked positively. In the afternoon, the conditions were mixed and I had an isolated scare when I went onto the wet areas of the track.
Everything indicates that tomorrow we will be able to contest qualifying in dry conditions, which is great. I am clear about what we have to do on Saturday and, as always, both the team and I are going to work hard to fight for a good place on the grid.”