Moto3: Tony Arbolino Leads the Charge Into Q2 in a Cold Catalan FP3
Tony Arbolino has finished the third and final free practice session on top as the battle for pole ignites in Barcelona.
The Lightweight class were once again the guinea pigs as they were faced with a cold track on Saturday morning. Seeing an air temperature of 14 degrees.
The Moto3 boys picked up where they left off in the second free practice session, seeing Alonso Lopez tipping off of his Husqvarna machine in turn two, becoming the first rider to find the gravel just six minutes into the third free practice session. Dupasquier joined the Spaniard in the gravel at turn two just a lap further on.
Red Bull KTM AJO boys Raul Fernandez and Kaito Toba wasted no time getting on with the morning session, going out in formation and after the first 15 minutes they held a one-two in the current session standings.
As expected the timing sheets were lacklustre in the first 10 minutes, yet still being faster than the windy Friday afternoon session, it was evident that the Moto3 riders were wary of the track conditions.
Ayumu Sasaki of the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 Team added to the team’s tough weekend by crashing at the uphill turn nine, hitting a bump at the apex and appearing visibly confused.
Times began to pick up halfway into the morning action, seeing Kaito Toba make the big improvement to make the jump to Q2 and third in the combined sessions standings, while following team-mate Fernandez. With 16 minutes remaining Fernandez ended his perfect run in the gravel-trap losing the front at the tricky downhill left hander of turn five.
Championship leader Albert Arenas was the first to launch a late time attack, typical of the Spaniard to ride the track with clear air, launching up to sixth with 12 minutes remaining.
Jose Garcia, the replacement for an injured Tatsuki Suzuki found the gravel at turn nine in the final ten minutes with a similar crash to Sasaki as the Moto3 riders struggled to get to grips with the tyres.
The KTM team turned Fernandez’ bike around quickly, identifying and rectifying any damage as he was able to ride out in the final five minutes alongside team-mate Toba and fellow KTM rider Deniz Oncu.
As the final runs kicked off, normal order resumed in Moto3 seeing riders trip over each-other trying to find that key slipstream, which is of benefit for the lightweight bikes down the 1-kilometre straight. Championship contender Ai Ogura launched his Honda Team Asia bike from a lowly 26th and Q1 spot to marginally manage 13th before being demoted to 15th instantly. John McPhee was on the cusp of demotion in 13th with 40 seconds remaining.
Red timing indicators lit-up the screen. Stand out times came from Jaume Masia, who lost his lap, but Tony Arbolino didn’t make the same mistake taking top-spot with a 1:48:635. Romano Fenati jumped to second with a 1:48:778.
Albert Arenas and John McPhee will have to venture through Q1 later on after they suffered during their final runs.
Moto3 gets underway at 12:35 – 12:50PM local time for the first qualifying session, followed up at 1:00-1:15PM for the second session, the race kicks off on Sunday at a later 12pm.
Full Moto3 Combined Results. (MotoGP.com)
|1||14||Tony ARBOLINO||ITA||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||238.4||1’48.635|
|2||55||Romano FENATI||ITA||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||234.7||1’48.778|
|3||25||Raul FERNANDEZ||SPA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||234.2||1’48.853|
|4||5||Jaume MASIA||SPA||Leopard Racing||Honda||244.3||1’48.876|
|5||11||Sergio GARCIA||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||236.8||1’48.889|
|6||2||Gabriel RODRIGO||ARG||Kömmerling Gresini Moto3||Honda||242.6||1’48.945|
|7||7||Dennis FOGGIA||ITA||Leopard Racing||Honda||244.8||1’48.956|
|8||16||Andrea MIGNO||ITA||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM||243.2||1’48.973|
|9||27||Kaito TOBA||JPN||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||241.0||1’49.144|
|10||40||Darryn BINDER||RSA||CIP Green Power||KTM||240.5||1’49.208|
|11||13||Celestino VIETTI||ITA||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM||240.5||1’49.218|
|12||71||Ayumu SASAKI||JPN||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||238.9||1’49.284|
|13||52||Jeremy ALCOBA||SPA||Kömmerling Gresini Moto3||Honda||235.2||1’49.315|
|14||12||Filip SALAC||CZE||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||241.0||1’49.384|
|15||50||Jason DUPASQUIER||SWI||CarXpert PruestelGP||KTM||242.1||1’49.404|
|16||75||Albert ARENAS||SPA||Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3||KTM||241.0||1’49.416|
|17||23||Niccolò ANTONELLI||ITA||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||238.4||1’49.444|
|18||70||Barry BALTUS||BEL||CarXpert PruestelGP||KTM||237.3||1’49.454|
|19||17||John MCPHEE||GBR||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||242.1||1’49.690|
|20||6||Ryusei YAMANAKA||JPN||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||239.4||1’49.518|
|21||79||Ai OGURA||JPN||Honda Team Asia||Honda||240.5||1’49.605|
|22||54||Riccardo ROSSI||ITA||BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy||KTM||240.0||1’49.695|
|23||21||Alonso LOPEZ||SPA||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||236.8||1’49.795|
|24||92||Yuki KUNII||JPN||Honda Team Asia||Honda||239.4||1’49.803|
|25||53||Deniz ÖNCÜ||TUR||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||239.4||1’49.811|
|26||99||Carlos TATAY||SPA||Reale Avintia Moto3||KTM||238.4||1’49.857|
|27||82||Stefano NEPA||ITA||Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3||KTM||240.0||1’49.884|
|28||20||Jose Julian GARCIA||SPA||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||239.4||1’50.071|
|29||9||Davide PIZZOLI||ITA||BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy||KTM||240.5||1’50.246|
|30||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||MAL||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||239.4||1’50.349|
|31||73||Maximilian KOFLER||AUT||CIP Green Power||KTM||238.9||1’50.649|
Featured image: MotoGP.com