Tony Arbolino set his fastest lap halfway through Friday's second free practice at Malaysia's Sepang circuit and it ended up topping the charts with a 2'14.227 as rain moved in and cut short the track time. Just one hundredth of a second back was John McPhee who also pressed for a good time early in the session as dark clouds moved across the 5.5 km (3.4 mi.) track. Aron Canet, who topped last year's FP2, set the third-fastest time as riders got 25 minutes of dry track before the downpour.
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Andrea Dovizioso, winner at the Sepang circuit last year, picked up where he left off with a1'59.697 to set the fastest time of the day. The lap was and nearly a full second faster than his his best FP1 time in 2017. Valentinio Rossi made his fastest lap of the session count with a 1'59.070 to jump from 14th to runner-up in the closing minutes of the first Friday practice.
Alex Marquez blitzed his final lap after time expired in FP1 at the Sepang Circuit to take Friday morning's fastest time by two-tenths of a second. Still, Marquez's 2'08.351 was nearly two seconds off last year's FP1 as the track dried during the session and a clean racing line began to emerge.
Mattia Pasini, who is said to lack a guaranteed ride for next year, finished second after leading for much of the practice. He was closely paced by championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (3rd). Luca Marini took fourth-fastest just in front of Iker Lecuona (5th).
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat took advantage of a wet track to set the fastest time in the first practice Friday at the Sepang round of Moto3. The Thai rider’s 2:25.290 put him a tenth of a second in front of Aron Canet two-tenths clear of championship contender Marco Bezzecchi.
Results and summary of the MotoGP race in Phillip Island:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race in Phillip Island:
Results and summary of the Moto3 race in Phillip Island:
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class in Phillip Island:
The moody weather of Phillip Island was in fine form on Saturday, going from sun to drizzle and back in record time and the setting was back on dry and sunny for the final practice session of the premier class. The man who seemed to enjoy it most early on was Valentino Rossi, the Italian picking up top spot temporarily before Andrea Iannone reclaimed a familiar position for the Italian this weekend. Once Iannone hit the front, he had little opposition and grabbed the headline with a lap posted on fairly used rubber.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Phillip Island:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class in Phillip Island:
Without jinxing it, sunshine was almost breaking through as the premier class had their go on Saturday morning, making the surface nearly fully dry but not any more predictable in terms of temperatures and wind. That meant both that riders were about a second off Friday’s best in the early part of the session and a few riders’ practice got cut short by more or less scary early crashes.