Moto2: Dixon leads Martin as Marini suffers monumental highside

Published on October 9, 2020
By Jack Hammersley

It’s been a perfect start for British rider Jake Dixon who topped the opening day of action in the Moto2 category after Jorge Martin’s best effort was cancelled in the closing stages.

It was nothing but a disaster for championship leader Luca Marini as in the first free practice the Italian dropped his VR46 machine at turn three, causing him to lose out on 28 minutes of the session to get an understanding of the wet conditions. It got worse as in the second free practice, on his second flying lap, the 23-year-old had a monstrous highside coming out of turn five landing heavily and causing a red flag. Luca was taken to the medical centre and then taken to the hospital for further examination. Le Mans has never been a happy hunting ground for Marini and 2020 looks to be no different.

Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Jake Dixon had a very strong Friday as he led in both Free Practice sessions in wet and dry conditions. Jake was one of a few riders who was not a victim to crashes in the tricky cold conditions. Dixon looks like a contender for the podium this weekend. Can the Brit achieve his first Moto2 podium on Sunday?

On the other side of the SKY Racing VR46 garage, Marco Bezzecchi showed good pace in the dry conditions, promoting himself into the top three on the combined standings. In the wet conditions, he also proved very competitive finishing in a very respectable seventh.

In the wet conditions after a crash at turn three, ONEXOX TKKR SAG’s Kasma Daniel was the quickest rider on the track, so should the race be wet, he could be a dark horse for the race. However his dry pace isn’t as quick finishing 1.819 seconds off Jorge Martin, but he was fastest than his teammate Remy Gardner, so overall a decent first day for the Malaysian.

FLEXBOX HP 40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri has been struggling since the Spanish Grand Prix with the Dunlop front tyre and being able to produce results he or the team would have expected. In Free Practice One he was able to show his speed finishing third behind his teammate Hector Garzo, but unfortunately for the Italian, the front tyre woes continue finishing in 16th position in the combined standings.

After getting his first podium of the season, Fabio di Giannantonio did not get off to the start he wanted as he had a brutal highside at turn 14 causing him to go to the medical centre and missing Free Practice Two, after such a strong showing in Barcelona and getting over his struggles with the Dunlop front tyre, this is another barrier the Italian will have to get over.

It has been a very quiet day for Enea Bastianini finishing in 11th and 14th in both Free Practice sessions, with Marini’s crash and what could be an injury, this is Enea’s chance to claw back some valuable points on Marini. The man second in the championship would need to win Sunday’s race if he wants to leave France as the championship leader.

The weather is forecasted to be dry for the rest of the weekend, meaning free practice three could once again come crucial for the valuable Q2 positions. But the weather is not always reliable in Le Mans so today’s combined standings could be the deciding factor for the qualifying sessions.

Full Friday results

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