Gardner wary of wet conditions at Misano

Remy Gardner. Picture:

Remy Gardner admits he may have some difficulty in the rain as he seeks to protect his Moto2 championship lead at Misano.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was second-fastest in Friday practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, having been first to swap to slicks in Free Practice 2.

Gardner went fastest early in that run as times began to tumble, and would go as quick as a 1:41.066s which left him 0.076s slower than Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS).

In a fully wet Free Practice 1, however, the Sydney-born rider was only 15th-quickest at 1.126s off the pace.

“It was a positive day for us,” said Gardner.

“In the wet we were missing something, but luckily in the afternoon the track started to dry out a bit and a line emerged.

“I was the first to run slicks, and little by little my feeling improved. I bettered my times and finally we finished very close to the top spot.

“In general, I am happy, and I feel good on the bike, so we will see what happens tomorrow and what conditions we have.

“The objective for [Saturday] is to complete a strong qualifying session.

“If it is wet, it will be more difficult, but we will try to deal with the situation in the best possible way.”

KTM Ajo team-mate Raul Fernandez, who trails by nine points in the championship, was 10th-fastest in FP1 and eighth-fastest on combined times.

“Today was quite tricky, as we had to ride under quite difficult conditions,” said the Spaniard.

“The first practice was completely wet and in the second the track had some damp patches, a situation that is tough to manage on the bike.

“The important thing is that tomorrow [Saturday], if it rains, we will be through to Q2 and, if it is dry, we will have one more opportunity to continue working on the set-up of our bike.

“In general, it was a positive and calm Friday.”

Behind Augusto Fernandez and Gardner was Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta) in third, ahead of Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta) and Celestino Vietti (Sky VR46).

Moto2 Free Practice 3 starts at 19:55 AEDT, with Qualifying 1 from 00:10 AEDT (Sunday morning).

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