Another cold morning in Valencia meant that the lightweight class struggled to find time to improve on their Friday benchmarks. That did not stop riders from engaging in the usual final three minutes' shenanigans in the search for a top 14 position. Up until that point, there were few improvements on the timesheets from the likes of Tony Arbolino or Tatsuki Suzuki, who had pretty tame Fridays, but the final combined standings were a mixed bag of FP2 and FP3 times. The Leopard machines were a predictable presence at the top of the timesheets, Marcos Ramirez ahead of world champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta this time around. Aron Canet climbed into the top three, not even a tenth behind the baby blue duo ahead.
Arbolino turned things around on Saturday morning and joined the top ten overall, with fourth in FP3, ahead of John McPhee. Ricardo Rossi continued an excellent performance with a sixth position and within half a second of the leader. Jaume Masia and rookie Filip Salac also secured Q2 tickets, while the likes of Suzuki and Can Oncu failed to join the Q2 line-up despite being in the top ten of FP3. The remaining Q2 slots went to some familiar names like Raul Fernandez, Romano Fenati, Sergio Garcia, Andrea Migno or Niccolo Antonelli but there was also a surprise appearance from Xavier Artigas, whose excellent FP2 time made sure that he heads straight to Q2 on his wildcard appearance.
Victims of the tight gaps across the field, Suzuki and Oncu will be joined in Q1 by the likes of Albert Arenas and Celestino Vietti, the likely rookie of the year finishing his final practice session as a rookie with a crash at turn 11.
|2||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||1'39.521||0.029||0.029|