Ayuma Sasaki Finishes FP3 On The Top Of The Time Sheets.
A beautiful morning at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg to start FP3 for the Moto3 class. The summer break feels like it lasts forever but now it was time for the riders to re-focus and race.
Darryn Binder set the pace yesterday in the first couple of Free Practice sessions with John McPhee in second for a Petronas Sprinta Racing one-two, with Sergio Garcia in third and Romano Fenati in fourth. Championship leader, Pedro Acosta was down in 12th position so was hoping to make up a few places in FP3 to make himself a little bit more comfortable.
The first crash of the session came very early on. Ayumu Sasaki got it all out of shape at Turn four. The rear end stepped out on corner entry, causing him to unload the front tyre and bounce off into the gravel. The bike looked damaged after the crash, with the marshals adding insult to injury by dropping it as they attempted to help the Japanese rider back to the track. He ended up “scootering” the bike down the access road, back to pitlane.
Times immediately started to improve as Leopard Racing’s Xavi Artigas hopped up to the Q2 positions, so the track looked fast this morning. Darryn Binder looked good early on as he circulated repeatedly within a tenth of his fastest time from yesterday. But the early pace was set by Rivacold Snipers Team rider, Andrea Migno. He has a new teammate this week in the shape of young Spaniard, David Salvador due to Alberto Surra’s injury. Ex- Snipers rider Filip Salac has moved to the CarXpert PrustelGP Team, stepping in for the late Jason Dupasquier.
With 17mins to go, the field came out of pitlane in a big bunch and started to set quick laps. Pedro Acosta popped up to second place with a solid lap to put him in a bit more of a comfortable position. Sergio Garcia also moved towards the top of the timesheets but Avintia Esponsorama rider Niccolo Antonelli was top moving into the final stages of the session.
Carlos Tatay moved up to fifth after his injury plagued season, so the Avintia team looked to be having a good session. Pedro Acosta woke up with six minutes to go and went top. Sasaki, Acosta and Masia were all riding around together, using each other’s slipstreams on the very long straights. The rest of the field came out of pitlane to join them with three minutes left.
Jaume Masia went top with a minute left to make it a Red Bull Ajo KTM one-two, as yesterday’s pace-setter Darryn Binder dropped to 18th. He went eighth to put himself in Q2 just in time for the chequered flag. Ayumu Sasaki went top after his early crash. Great effort from the Red Bull Tech3 KTM team to get that bike repaired and onto the top of the session.
Jaume Masia ended up second with Filip Salac in third and Jeremy Alcoba in fourth. Championship leader Acosta was fifth followed by fellow rookie Izan Guevara. John McPhee was in Q2 after finishing the session in seventh. Tatsuki Suzuki, Romano Fenati, Dennis Foggia and Gabriel Rodrigo all have to go through Q1, and with rain expected tomorrow, they will need to find a way to get into the Top 18 shoot-out in qualifying.
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