Moto3: Fernandez Tops Carnage-Filled FP3, as Pedro Acosta Heads to Q1

Published on May 15, 2021
By Admin

No improvements on yesterday’s lap times, but there was carnage in a quite important session before qualifying.

Very damp and greasy conditions started the session in FP3. With rain forecast for 1PM, the riders needed to get track times in the wet before qualifying later today. Many of the riders ended up on the floor in a bruising session in Le Mans.

Our first crasher of the day was the SIC58 Squadra Corse rider, Tatsuki Suzuki. He lost the rear in the middle of Turn 14, and the bike fired him off the side and into the gravel. He got up unhurt and rode across the track to return it to pit lane.

Rookie Xavier Artigas was also a crasher early on in the session, at Turn 10. His bike looked battered and bruised after what looked like a heavy crash, but it wasn’t on camera. He walked away unharmed; it took a good half an hour before he returned to the track after the repairs that needed to be done on his broken bike.

Andi Farid Izdahar crashed at Turn 13. Again, this wasn’t on camera but he was in the process of getting back on his bike when he appeared on-screen.

Honda’s wildcard Takuma Matsuyama was the next faller, just after the Dunlop Bridge. He looked hurt as he was stretchered off by the medical staff.

Championship leader, Pedro Acosta looked to be having some fun in the miserable conditions – sliding the bike into corners and stringing the laps together – but even he was nearly caught out as he was flung out of the seat on the exit of Turn 14, with both feet off the pegs. He showed his class though by regathering his composure and carrying on like nothing had happened. His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Jaume Masia had a nasty high side out of the last corner. He didn’t hit the floor though, and surfed the bike into the gravel. He held on to the handlebars and was lucky to get away uninjured.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia went down at Turn 3 in a classic crash, losing the front as he tipped into the corner. He rallied out of the gravel to return the pits.
Ricardo Rossi had a spill at Turn 6, but also managed to return to the pits.

In amongst the chaos, some wet lap times were being set. Honda Team Asia rider Yuki Kunii was leading the session in the middle of the allocated time. He seems to come to life when there are tricky conditions on track and he led from Pedro Acosta, John McPhee and Filip Salac. Gabriel Rodrigo popped into the session’s top 3 with 15 minutes to go, and as he strung the laps together, he began to look strong in the soggy conditions.

Carlos Tatay was on a quick lap, looking to go top, but he was flicked from the seat and slapped under the chin with his screen on the exit of Turn 14. He rolled onto the edge of the gravel, but was OK as he walked to join the marshals behind the barrier.

Petronas Sprinta Racing rider John McPhee went top of the timesheets with 5 minutes to go, from Pedro Acosta, with a decent wet lap, but Acosta went half a second faster immediately after, then crashed into Turn 4. He got the bike straight back up out of the gravel after losing the front and gently sliding to the edge of the gravel.

Ryusei Yamanaka was shown on his knees in Turn 14 and looked rather winded. He is in Q2 today with a good lap yesterday but he looked as though he may have been injured. As the marshals were clearing him and his wreckage, Andi Farid Izdahar had a nasty high side causing the doctor to swiftly retreat out of the way of the stricken Honda.

Xavier Artigas went down again at Turn 3, with a nasty off-throttle high sider at the apex. He landed really awkwardly on his side, and walked away holding his left wrist. We’ll await an update on his condition.

Sterilgarda Max Racing Team rider Adrian Fernandez was quickest in the session, in a very quiet 2021 season. He seemed to be getting on with the tricky track conditions and led from Pedro Acosta, Yuki Kunii, Andrea Migno and John McPhee.

Pedro Acosta will have to go through Q1 due to not improving today along with Jeremy Alcoba, Izan Guevara, Tatsuki Suzuki and Dennis Foggia.

There is a lot of talent in Q1 today, but only four can advance to Q2. With more tricky conditions forecast, the Q1 advancers are far from a forgone conclusion. It’s set to be an intriguing session and is not to be missed!

Q1 will begin later today at 12:35 Local Time (GMT +2).

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