Moto3: Garcia Snatches Pole in the Dying Moments of Qualifying in Argentina

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Sergio Garcia will start tomorrow’s Argentinian race from pole position. Ayumu Sasaki was just a tenth behind, claiming second, with Izan Guevara having to settle for third.

After a tumultuous start to the weekend which saw the schedule for the entire weekend reshuffled, Sergio Garcia was able to fend off the field and claim a stunning pole position.

As the checkered flag fell, the entire Q2 grid were on track for a final hot lap. It was Garcia on the GASGAS Aspar bike who came out on top, setting a time of 1:48.429 at the final attempt. Ayumu Sasaki was just 0.171s behind, claiming second place.

A further 0.195s behind him was Izan Guevara, who was the one to set the pace in both practice sessions. He had looked on track to secure pole but was over-riding on the final lap and had to control a twitching bike in the final corners, causing him to lose time at the worst possible moment.

QUALIFYING 1

As the session started, everyone remained in their garages for a good few minutes – it seemed no one wanted to make the first move, despite all facing a lack of track time during the reshuffled weekend.

At the halfway point of the session, only four riders had set a time and it was Mario Aji on the Honda Team Asia bike who sat at the top of the timing sheets. Despite crashing a few times in practice, British rider Scott Ogden kept his composure and was the next to set the fastest lap. He looked like a favourite to make it in to the Q2 session.

Ogden was then replaced by Ryusei Yamanaka, setting a time that was quicker by two tenths. He then improved again, with just over a minute left on the clock, setting a time of 1:49.822. This time wouldn’t be beaten for the rest of the session, despite everyone trying.

As the grid kept fighting for a place in Q2, Joshua Whatley crashed at turn two – it was his first crash of the weekend and, despite being unharmed, he was out for the rest of the session.

Riccardo Rossi set only one hot lap, crossing the line as the flag fell with a time good enough for a place in Q2, going third fastest overall. This pushed Ogden down and out of the top four, as he was forced to settle with fifth – the fastest loser spot.

The session ended with Yamanaka at the top of the timing sheets, with Stefano Nepa second, Rossi third and Joel Kelso fourth – all progressed to Q2.

Image Credit: MotoGP
QUALIFYING 2

Much like Q1, the gird took their time coming out on to the track, seeming to opt for a one-lap strategy.

Kaito Toba set the first fastest lap of the session but was soon bumped down by Kelso who set the fastest Moto3 lap of the weekend so far. It seemed he made good use of the extra track time he enjoyed during Q1.

It wasn’t until there were less than three minutes left on the clock that all riders came out on to the track, giving them time for just one flying lap. They were led out of the pitlane by Deniz Oncu who put himself in a position to avoid any mess or drama, but also forced himself to miss out on a slipstream. As a result, he ended the session in 16th.

As every rider fought it out for the honours of pole position, it was Garcia who came out on top, setting an impressive time of 1:48.429. This is only his second pole position as he enters his fourth year in Moto3.

Sasaki took the second fastest time of the day, just 0.171s behind Garcia. They are joined on the front row by Guevara was looked set for pole but struggled on his final lap.

Q1 pace-setter, Rossi, will start the race from a well-earned fourth with early Q2 pace-setter, Kelso, will start the race from an equally-impressive fifth.

Daniel Holgado had an uneventful session on his way to securing sixth. Behind him is Xavier Artigas in seven and Andrea Migno in ninth. The top ten is rounded out by Tatsuki Suzuki and Diogo Moreira.

Dennis Foggia has a very disappointing session, only able to claim 11th. Jaume Masia will also be disappointed with 12th.

The action kicks off at 4pm tomorrow, local time, and Crew On Two will have all the latest updates for you.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP


Posted on 2nd April, 2022 for The PitCrew Online

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