Fernandez and Acosta shine to start Qatar Grand Prix

04/03/2022

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo lead the way on Friday at the Lusail International Circuit, taking first and second on the combined timesheets, respectively.

 

The 2022 Moto2 World Championship season got underway on Friday at the Lusail International Circuit, with the opening day of the Qatar Grand Prix. The first Free Practices of the campaign were dominated by Augusto Fernandez, who was fastest in both FP1 and FP2 and, as a consequence, on the combined timesheets. Newcomer Pedro Acosta began his adaptation to the class in style and finished in second position.

FP1 took place under optimal conditions, and Fernandez proved to be one of the strongest riders in this session, leading the timesheets from start to finish. The Spaniard ended in first place thanks to a 2:00.290, which he achieved on his 14th of a total of 15 laps. Acosta made his debut at the Qatari track aboard a Moto2 bike, achieving sixth position after stopping the clock at 2:00.840. The current Moto3 World Champion completed a total of 15 laps, gaining valuable track time in the intermediate class.

In the afternoon, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo topped the FP2 standings, also improving their times from the morning. Fernandez was once again one step ahead of the rest of the field, fastest with a time of 1:59.112, set on lap 12 of a total of 16. Just over a tenth of a second behind, Acosta was second with a personal best of 1:59.272 and continued to adapt to the class in spectacular fashion. He put in a further 15 laps in the session.

Fernandez and Acosta will contest FP3 tomorrow morning, in which they will have one last chance to fine-tune the setup of their respective machines. At 4:25 PM local time, Moto2 Q1 for the Qatar GP will take place, followed by Q2 at 4:50 PM.

Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.112
2. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.272 +0.160
3. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:59.276 +0.164
4. Celestino Vietti (Kalex) 1:59.549 +0.437
5. Aron Canet (Kalex) 1:59.556 +0.444

 

#37 AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ

“I’m happy to have started the weekend like this. We have worked well, although there is still a lot to do with the race in mind, since the conditions change a lot from FP1 to FP2. We have to push in the afternoon session, because the conditions we will have then are the most similar to those that we shall see on Sunday. The objective for tomorrow is to qualify well, but it will be tough, because we only have 15 minutes to look for a good lap and finish outlining some details that will allow us to take a step forward in terms of our pace, and be strong at the end of the contest. Overall, we’re doing a great job and it’s been a positive day.”

#51 PEDRO ACOSTA

“Our first day of work in Qatar in Moto2 went very well. It was important for us to understand the circuit with the new bike because the needs and demands are very different from Moto3. In general, it has been a positive Friday in which we have made a lot of progress from FP1 to FP2. Tomorrow we will have to keep pushing, to qualify in the best position possible.”

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