Moto2: Pasini on top as action gets underway in Argentina

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Mattia Pasini got off to a strong start as the second round of the 2018 Moto2 World Championship got underway in Argentina, jumping to the top of the timesheets on a challenging opening day for the intermediate class.

Pasini’s FP1 time of 1’44.461 was enough to lead the way on the combined practice times with just five riders improving their lap time in the afternoon session with track conditions constantly changing.

KTM’s Miguel Oliveira was second quickest, just 0.170 seconds behind the Italian while Qatar race winner Francesco Bagnaia ended the day third for the Sky VR46 squad.

The second Red Bull KTM of Brad Binder placed fourth, ahead of Alex Marquez who topped the afternoon’s second session on the Estrella Galicia MarcVDS Kalex.

Isaac Vinales was sixth quickest for the SAG team ahead of Britain’s Danny Kent, who got off to a strong start with the Speed Up squad to sit less than half a second off Pasini’s quickest time.

Jorge Navarro set the eighth quickest time of the day ahead of Xavi Vierge while Remy Gardner rounded out the top ten for Tech 3.

2017 Moto3 Champion Joan Mir was 11th quickest on the second Marc VDS machine, ahead of Sam Lowes who placed 12th on the Swiss Innovative Investors KTM.

Lorenzo Baldassari, who had battled for the win in Qatar, was 0.619 seconds off the pace in 13th

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing