Rain is no stranger to the paddock this season and even Aragon got its share as the weekend started. With rain falling in the early hours of the day, the circuit got a chance to dry up but the clouds and the extra jumper remained in the eighteen degrees. Despite the imperfect conditions, the lightweight class behaved and few incidents or off-track visits punctuated the morning’s action.
Jorge Martin was the early leader of the session, within half a second of last year’s FP1 benchmark, achieved in similar conditions. The Gresini rider’s speed did not appear to be hindered by his lingering injury and his recent cycling misfortune but the Spaniard did take a bit of a longer mid-session break, giving his rivals a chance to catch up.
It was the usual suspects chasing Martin throughout practice, with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 duo and the two main title contenders challenging his time with red sectors after red sectors. The final ten minutes saw a flurry of brand new tyres, Enea Bastianini the first to snatch the lead and build half a second’s gap. That might have looked secure for a while, before world championship leader Joan Mir and rival Aron Canet picked up the pace (and the occasional slipstream) to steal his limelight.
Canet ended the session at the top of the timesheets, despite a late charge from Joan Mir bringing him within nine thousandths of second of that honour. Niccolo Antonelli found himself on Canet’s tail in the final laps and was aided to an encouraging third place. Behind the Italian was compatriot Bastianini, who finished three tenths down on the leader but showed consistent pace. Martin was pushed back to fifth spot, with Nicolo Bulega in sixth being the last rider within half a second of Canet.
Also aided by a generous tow from the leader, Tatsuki Suzuki finished seventh on the timesheets. Bo Bendsneyder was a steady presence in the top ten, the Dutchman as high as second at one point and dropping back to eighth at the flag.
Lone wolf Romano Fenati did not even bother with chasing a slipstream and all that time spent riding on his own brought him a ninth place, a recoverable seven tenths down on the leader. The top ten was completed by Marcos Ramirez, the Spaniard only two hundredths of a second ahead of VR46 Academy junior and Aragon wildcard Dennis Foggia.
Qualifying royalty Gabriel Rodrigo took his time to get up to speed and ended up over a second and a half down on Canet, in eighteenth place.
|13||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||2'00.401||1.287||0.247|
|19||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Mahindra||2'00.882||1.768||0.046|