At the end of FP3 for the Moto3TM field at the Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Ayumu Sasaki maintained his position at the top of the leaderboard. The Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max rider, who had previously set the pace in FP2, clocked a 1:36.111 in the last moments of the race to reclaim the top spot. While Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and World Championship leader Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) were placed fifth and ninth, respectively, he finished ahead of Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) and Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
The early morning has a brisk pace
Both Moto3TM practice sessions on Friday were hampered by wet areas of the track, but Phillip Island was dry (albeit cool) on Saturday morning, and Sasaki’s FP2 standard of 1:37.797 was quickly challenged. On his second lap, home favorite Joel Kelso (CIP Green Power) seemed to have broken the record, but the yellow flags waved because Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team) had crashed at ‘Honda’ Hairpin (Turn 4). However, Deniz ncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) managed to beat it on his first try, doing a lap in 1:37.340.
Then Garcia ran a 1:37.332, while Sasaki ran a 1:37.151 on his second attempt to recover first place. After Tatsuki Suzuki of Japan set the second-fastest time with a 1:37.318, Leopard Racing teammate Matteo Foggia topped him with a 1:37.275 while the rest of the field was in the pits getting ready for the time trials. After an accident at Doohan Corner (Turn 1), Guevara was down in 17th place and Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was in 19th, however Masia was ready to go back out.
Then Garcia went and did a 1:36.460 to claim P1, while Guevara did a 1:37.476 to go into Q2 and still leave the Championship leader exposed at 11th. Until he runs a 1:37.170 the following time, he will remain in the dangerously low position of 13th and will likely fall out of the top 14 altogether. Then, in the 38th minute, Sasaki ran a 1:36.111, besting Garcia’s 1:36.448, with Holgado in third at 1:36.609.
Anyone else excited about Q2?
ncü finished in fourth with a time of 1:36.837, followed by foggia in fifth with a time of 1:36.872, Stefano nepa in sixth with the Angeluss MTA Team, then Suzuki, Moreira, Guevara in ninth, and Masia in tenth after the Ajo team did an outstanding job repairing his bike. Even though he crashed in the middle of the practice at the ‘Honda’ Hairpin, Adrian Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), Kelso, and Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) all advanced directly to Q2. One of Phillip Island’s resident geese also got in some track time when it wandered onto the course near Lukey Heights, forcing a red flag to be waved after the chequered flag had already been waved.
Now that the gander has been removed, Q1 for the Moto3TM championship will begin at 12:35 (GMT +11) on Saturday.
Global Top Ten Results for Moto3TM
1. Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) – 1:36.112
2. Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.348
3. Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.497
4. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.725
5. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.760
6. Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) + 0.786
7. Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing) + 0.787
8. Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) + 0.832
9. Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) + 1.058
10. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.096
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