Conditions at the start of FP2 had improved somewhat over the particularly moist morning so lightweight class riders were quickly on the pace and improving the FP1 benchmark early on, although marshals were still kept busy by a handful of crashes. As riders got ready for one last attack with ten minutes left on the clock, things got colder, windier and wetter once more, a red flag soon halting the action due to some pitlane signage and pit board bits being blown onto the track.
The long awaited return to Europe was to a very wet and quite cold Algarve circuit, helping the lightweight class fill the gravel traps throughout their first outing. Despite a small moment of his own, rookie Daniel Holgado managed to avoid that faith to lead the way for most of FP1, ending the session with a six tenths advantage over Lorenzo Fellon. QatarGP winner Andrea Migno got demoted to third in the final few seconds of the session, ahead of Izan Guevara and David Salvador, who replaces the convalescent John McPhee for another weekend.
Moto3 standings after COTA:
Results and summary of the Moto3 race at COTA:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class at COTA:
The final practice session for the lightweight class started in pretty dramatic fashion, a red flag waving only 12 minutes into the session after an odd collision sent Alberto Surra into the barriers alongside the back straight. The Italian was conscious but needed medical assistance to return to the paddock and the session soon resumed for the rest of the field. Although the wind had calmed down a bit, riders did not manage to threaten the benchmark set on Friday afternoon by Dennis Foggia and there were very few changes to the combined top 14 places.
The lightweight class got to end the show on Friday and equally unusual was the leader’s gap in the final time attack. Riders needed quite a bit of time to challenge the FP1 benchmark but Dennis Foggia eventually did and went on to stretch an advantage of nearly one second at the front. Although initially slow to improve, Andrea Migno saved the field from a pretty embarrassing gap by reducing it to under four tenths at the last second and posting the only other 2:15 time of the day.
The lightweight class didn’t get to open the show this time around but eventually had a go on the partially new asphalt. Seeing Dennis Foggia’s name at the top of the timing screens for much of FP1 was not all that surprising, but things got spicy for the final handful of minutes and Andrea Migno came out on top in the time attack by nearly four tenths of a second. Foggia recovered some ground to secure second, with Carlos Tatay third, as the final rider to post a time within half a second of the leader.