03/23/2017 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar
Despite the weather forecasts, rain did not make an appearance on Thursday at the Losail International Circuit for the start of the first Grand Prix of the year. The Moto3 riders undertook their first two Free Practice sessions of the season, in which Bo Bendsneyder led FP2 and finished in 7th place on the combined timesheet. Niccolo Antonelli placed 9th at the end of a positive evening for both riders.
In the first free practice session the wind –which reached gusts of up to 15km/h– made the riders’ work somewhat difficult. However, it was Bendsneyder who started strongest, leading the way from the first ten minutes and holding the position for half an hour. Although he set his best lap in the last seconds of the session, the Dutchman’s 2:07.432 put him seventh, two places ahead of his teammate Niccolo Antonelli. The Italian also clocked his best time -2: 07.816- on his last lap.
Wind was again present in FP2, although the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders managed to overcome it and and shone during the session. Bendsneyder was in the Top5 during the first half of the session, and took a step up with 13 minutes remaining with a time of 2:07.955 for the top spot. Antonelli was also among the fastest riders, after improving his times during the final stretch and setting a best lap of 2:08.476 for fourth. The Italian suffered light crash just before the action concluded. Tomorrow sees a single 40-minute practice session at 7pm local time.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Philipp Oettl (KTM) 2:06.763
2. Joan Mir (Honda) 2:07.239 +0.258
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 2:07.380 +0.399
4. Juanfran Guevara (KTM) 2:07.388 +0.407
5. Romano Fenati (Honda) 2:07.414 +0.433
7. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:07.432 +0.451
9. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:07.816 +0.835
-Red Bull KTM Ajo Motorsport.