The Imola circuit was brand new for almost the entire field of youngsters, providing a level playing field for the first outing of the weekend. FP1 was dominated by Donington Park Race 2 winner Aldi Satya Mahendra, who finished 0.787 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. Although Marc Vich, Krittapat Keankum and Kevin Fontainha all looked close to challenging the quick Indonesian at times. Poland’s Dawid Nowak also had a strong showing on a track, finishing fourth, as he enjoys Imola’s layout more and more with each lap.
Jayden Martin and Evann Plaindoux had an unlucky first session when they collided, with the former needing a trip to the medical centre. Both riders were cleared for qualifying.
Superpole was held under hot and humid conditions and the R3 riders were eager to get as many laps in as possible. Despite a very strong performance from Eduardo Burr, who came close to snatching pole position, no-one had an answer for Italy’s Ercolani. The 18-year-old finished 0.569 seconds ahead of his rivals with a 2’12.034. Completing the front row for Saturday’s two races was Mahendra, just a tenth of a second behind Burr. Thurakij Buapa had a small crash towards the end of the session but the Thai rider still claimed fourth.
Italian wildcard rider Salvatore Germano put in a solid run to take 15th on the grid.