Moto3: Kornfeil fastest as McPhee and Martin struggle

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Thanks to a 1:43.415 in FP1 at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix, Jakub ends Friday as the fastest man in the Moto3 class after no one could better the time in the afternoon. Ayumu Sasaki came closest as he beat Kornfeil into second place in FP2, with the Japanese rider impressing on his return from injury, but it was only 0.052 between the two. Gabriel Rodrigo was third on the combined timesheets, and he’s still within a tenth of the top.

After the lightweight class’ first taste of Buriram, it looks tight. Fourth overall was Niccolo Antonelli, who leaped up the timesheets in the afternoon and was still just over a tenth off first. Fabio Di Giannantonio was another rider to dramatically improve and he went from 21st to fifth to end the day 0.151 down, just 0.013 ahead of Tatsuki Suzuki. Malaysian rider Adam Norrodin similarly enjoyed a much-improved afternoon session to leap up the combined timesheets from P22 to seventh.

Eighth overall was John McPhee but the bigger headline for the Scot was a crash. Suffering a moment out of Turn 6, McPhee recovered before he then lost the front of his KTM, leaving Vicente Perez behind him with nowhere to go. Taken to the medical centre for a check-up, McPhee suffered a broken toe in the fall but was declared fit.

Meanwhile, Marco Bezzecchi was ninth overall after finishing the opening session just behind teammate Kornfeil in second, and the Italian was a faller at turn four early in the session. But his key Championship rival, points leader Jorge Martin, could only manage a time quick enough for 21st on the combined times. The Spaniard is only 0.673 down on Kornfeil at the top but it made for an out-of-character Friday.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer