Fernandez and Gardner complete solid opening day at French GP


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo take provisional spots in Q2 at Le Mans after finishing second and fourth, respectively, in the combined FP1 and FP2 standings.


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 returned to work today on the opening day of the French Grand Prix, in which they had to contend with mixed conditions. Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner made huge steps forward from morning to afternoon and finished second and fourth, respectively, on the combined FP1 and FP2 timesheets. Thanks to this result, both riders are provisionally entered into Qualifying 2, held tomorrow at Le Mans.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo had to face mixed conditions in the FP1 with temperatures of just 12ºC. Given the tricky state of the surface, Gardner employed a conservative attitude throughout the session and finished ninth with a time of 1:38.381, achieved on his penultimate attempt out of a total of 20. Fernandez had his first experience in the wet with a Moto2 bike. The Spaniard spent 19 laps gathering information in the practice and placing 19th after stopping the clock at 1:38.779.

In the afternoon, the intermediate class participated in an FP2 session in dry conditions. Fernandez made remarkable progress to conclude in second position with a time of 1:36.382, just 75 thousandths of a second off the top spot. The Spaniard put in 20 laps of the French track, compared to 18 for his teammate. Gardner was fourth after setting a personal best time of 1:36.640.

Tomorrow morning Gardner and Fernandez will face FP3, the last Free Practice of the weekend. In the afternoon, at 3:10 PM and 3:35 PM local time, Q1 and Q2 for the French GP will take place.

Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)

1. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:36.307
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.382 +0.075
3. Augusto Fernandez (Kalex) 1:36.605 +0.298
4. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.640 +0.333
5. Nicolo Bulega (Kalex) 1:36.748 +0.441


“I’m happy with how the two sessions went today. In the end, the weather conditions were better than we expected. It was a pity that, in the afternoon, a couple of crashes on the last lap hindered me setting a fast time. However, I feel comfortable, I am satisfied and tomorrow we will continue to work hard to try to be as high up the grid as possible.”


“Our first day of work at Le Mans was positive. It was a bit difficult for us to handle the temperature and conditions this morning, as it was the first time I had ridden the bike in mixed conditions. We have to bear in mind that this is our rookie year and we may find ourselves in new situations, as happened to us today. In general, I am happy as the feeling was good, so we have to work to keep it that way for the rest of the weekend. Tomorrow we will give our 100% to get an optimal position on the grid, although it will be a tough day due to the weather.”