Moto3: McPhee second as 0.02 covers top four

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Tony Arbolino has topped an ultra-close opening day at the Malaysian Grand Prix, taking the top spot from John McPhee, Aron Canet and Jorge Martin with a mere 0.024 covering the quartet. The Italian made the most of tricky conditions as on-and-off rain made for a difficult day for the lightweight class at Sepang.

After his huge Japanese GP crash, Niccolo Antonelli returns to action in Malaysia still nursing his injuries picked up in Motegi but nonetheless, the Italian impressed on day one to end fifth fastest, just 0.122 off the top. Countryman Andrea Migno completed Friday another tiny margin in arrears, 0.003 back in sixth, with the same gap separating him from another Italian in seventh: Enea Bastinaini. Title contender Marco Bezzecchi is eighth overall, but the gap is just 0.155 between him and the fastest time.

Ninth quickest was fastest rookie Alonso Lopez, with Australian GP winner Albert Arenas rounding out a top ten that was covered by only 0.321 in Malaysia. Third in the championship, Fabio Di Giannantonio finished Friday in 13th.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer