Moto 2: Raul Fernandez Tops Combined Standings in Assen

Published on June 26, 2021
By Jack Hammersley

It was sessions of mixed conditions with Free Practice One and Three being dry and Free Practice Two being wet

In the dry the two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were first and seventh with Raul Fernandez getting the better of Remy. However, their pace in the wet conditions are not as strong; Raul Fernandez finished Free Practice Two in 23rd position, 3.3 seconds from the top, should it be wet in qualifying and the race it will be vital for Raul and the team to improve the bike. For Remy, he was a second faster than his team-mate, but finished in 18th so the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team have work to do in the wet conditions if they are going to keep up their form.

Augusto Fernandez put in the fastest time on Friday ahead of the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team showing that should the race be dry, the Spaniard will take his second victory at the Dutch TT. His wet weather pace is also very strong so Augusto Fernandez could be one to look out for in all conditions this weekend. He ended the combined standings in third place and looks to get on the front-row in qualifying.

Jorge Navarro finished the combined standings in fourth place showing positive signs for the dry, however in Free Practice Two he had a disaster not being able to complete many laps due to a bike problem, so he will have a lack of data for the wet conditions and will be hoping for dry running for the rest of the weekend.

Somkiat Chantra put in an impressive performance ending the combined standings in fifth place and looks to try and get onto the front two rows of the grid. His form in the wet was ok, being one second off the top time so he could be in for a solid top ten position this weekend.

Sam Lowes put in a good race run through Saturday’s Free Practice Three session and ended the combined standings in sixth position and he was also strong in the wet conditions. It will be crucial for the ELF Marc VDS rider to get on the front-row to fight for the win tomorrow.

The SKY Racing VR46 Team at the beginning on Free Practice Three were struggling and were out of the top 14, but then a setup change for both riders at the end of the session promoted Marco Bezzecchi and Celestino Vietti to the top 14, with Bezzecchi ending the session in second place, and Vietti in ninth. Marco’s pace in the wet was strong where as for Celestino, with his lack of experience in the wet conditions and a crash was seven seconds off the pace so he’ll be hoping for a dry qualifying and race.

The Petronas Sprinta Racing Team looked strong and likely to go into Q2; however it was not meant to be with Xavi Vierge crashing on his last lap at turn seven and Jake Dixon unable to improve by 0.06 seconds. Jake’s pace in the wet was one of the strongest so the Brit may be hoping for a wet race on Sunday, but the two riders will have to go through Q1.

The Federal Oil Gresini Team of Fabio Di Giannantonio and Nicolo Bulega have had a good weekend so far with Fabio qualifying for Q2 with Nicolo just missing out on the Q2 spot, but Nicolo was very strong in the wet conditions with Fabio inside the top ten also so they could be dark horses this weekend.

Pertamina Mandalika SAG’s Thomas Luthi got into Q2 this weekend which is a good turn of fortunes for the Swiss rider who has really struggled with the front tyre since last year. Also in wet conditions he finished 12th so Tom could be on for his best weekend in a while.

Qualifying takes place at 15:10 (GMT+2). What will the weather be like and who will take pole?

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