Gardner and Fernandez in form in first two Free Practices of the year26/03/2021
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo open the 2021 season with strong performances in FP1 and FP2 of the Qatar GP, finishing fifth and eighth, respectively.
The effort done during the pre-season by Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 carried over to the first day of work for the 2021 season, in FP1 and FP2 of the Qatar Grand Prix. Remy Gardner set the fifth best time of the day on Friday, feeling satisfied with the labour done with his crew. Teammate Raul Fernandez continued to adapt to the intermediate class and finished eighth on the combined timesheets, meaning both riders are provisionally into tomorrow’s Q2.
The new Moto2 World Championship season got underway with a 40-minute FP1 session, in which the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo put into practice the findings obtained in the Official Test in Qatar a week ago. Gardner finished the practice in fifth position with a time of 2:00.668, just 3 tenths off the top spot. The Australian talent completed 15 laps of the Qatari track, as did Fernandez. The Spaniard was eighth with a 2:00.906.
After nightfall, the Moto2 riders competed in FP2 under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit. The Red Bull KTM Ajo pair both took steps forward in this session by lowering their morning times, breaking the 2:00 barrier. Gardner set a personal best of 1:59.320 for fifth place, racking up an additional 16 laps. On his 7th attempt of 16, Fernandez stopped the clock at 1:59.481, giving him eighth position overall.
Tomorrow morning offers a final Free Practice session for the Moto2 field, before the first qualifying runs of the year: Q1 of the Qatar GP will start at 6:25 PM local time, followed by Q2 at 6:50 PM.
Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:58.959
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Kalex) 1:59.063 +0.104
3. Joe Roberts (Kalex) 1:59.272 +0.313
4. Xavi Vierge (Kalex) 1:59.296 +0.337
5. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.320 +0.361
8. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.481 +0.522
87 REMY GARDNER
“Today was quite good. At the end of the day, the track conditions were a bit strange for me, but I’m very happy with the work that we did with the crew in both sessions. We are clear about what is the way forward for tomorrow, and we are prepared. It’s a great feeling to start a new season, so I want to thank the team for their work. This Saturday we will try our best again.”
25 RAUL FERNANDEZ
“I’m very happy with how the day went. The goal was to be inside the Top 10 and we achieved that. However, we have to keep working to improve my feeling on the bike. I know that, with the team I have and with the peace of mind that they give me, we will be able to take that step forward that we need in order to be able to continue at the front.”