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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Moto3: Dominant Foggia Wins in Indonesia

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Dennis Foggia took a dominant win at the Indonesian GP, putting him at the top of the championship standings after two races. Izan Guevara took second with Carlos Tatay in third after Andrea Migno crashed on the final lap.

Having taken the lead on the third lap of the race, Dennis Foggia on the Leopard Racing machine enjoyed a very dominant race as he quickly put clean air between himself and the rest of the field. After taking the race win in Indonesia he has also now put himself at the top of the Moto3 championship standings.

He was joined on the podium by Gaviota GASGAS rider, Izan Guevara, in second and CFMoto rider, Carlos Tatay, in third. Tatay also enjoyed a positive day as he recovered from a long lap penalty, incurred for taking a shortcut at turn nine. Our winner in Qatar, Andrea Migno was on track for a podium finish before crashing on the final lap of the race.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Before the race started, Diogo Moreira suffered a mechanical issue that forced him to give up second place on the grid and, instead, start at the back of the field. His day went from bad to worse as he then retired on lap eight.

As the race started, Sergio Garcia and his Gaviota GASGAS bike flew from seventh place on the grid to take an early lead. He took Foggia and Migno with him, as they also enjoyed strong race starts. Soon, Garcia had the lead stolen from him by Foggia on lap three.

Foggia was now leading Migno, Garcia and Guevara, as the four broke away from the rest of the pack. By lap seven, Foggia had put a gap of 1.5s between himself and Migno in second – this then increased to a 3.2s gap by lap nine and a 5.1s gap by lap ten. This consistent increase in pace was unsurprising after the times Foggia had posted in the warm-up session.

In the latter stages of the races, Foggia had flown off in to the distance and left a large group of riders all battling hard for a second-place finish. This group included Guevara who was 0.9s ahead in second, followed by Migno, Deniz Oncu, Jaume Masia, Daniel Holgado, Ayumu Sasaki and, as he eventually found his rhythm and caught up to the pack, Garcia.

Image Credit: MotoGP

However, disaster struck as Sasaki hit Migno in to turn 10 on the final lap of the race. The pair were both down and out, whilst Tatay also struggled with last lap nerves. As a result of Tatay going wide at turn 10, and Sasaki and Migno’s crash, Garcia was temporarily gifted the final podium position. That was until the penultimate corner when Tatay struck back to reclaim third.

Next to cross the line was Oncu followed by Xavier Artigas and Masia. The top ten was completed by Elia Bartolini, Holgado and Tatsuki Suzuki, all within a few tenths of each other.

Home hero Mario Aji on the Honda Team Asia bike eventually came home in 14th and was cheered through every corner.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP


Posted on 20th March, 2022 for The PitCrew Online

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Moto3: Tatay secures maiden pole ahead of Indonesian GP

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Ahead of tomorrow’s race, qualifying was topped by Carlos Tatay as he clinched his maiden pole. Lining up alongside him on the front row will be Diogo Moreira and Mario Aji.

As MotoGP returns to Indonesia for the first time in 25 years, qualifying saw the uprising of the rookies with two securing a front row start for tomorrow. One of these rookies is Indonesian rider, and home hero, Mario Aji.

However the honours of the day when to Carlos Tatay, who has secured his maiden pole position in his fourth year in Moto3. It is also the first pole position for the new CFMoto Racing team. The Spanish rider set a time of 1:41.232s with six minutes left of Q2.

Just 0.083s behind Tatay was the top rookie of the day, Diogo Moreira. The Brazilian also took the top rookie award when the chequered flag fell in Qatar last weekend, finishing the race in sixth.

Rounding out the front row for the start of tomorrow’s race will be Indonesian rider and home hero, Aji. The Honda Team Asia rider came through from Q1 to set the early pace in Q2.

Mario Aji; Image Credit: MotoGP

Xavier Artigas is in fourth thanks to excellent teamwork with Tatay. Andrea Migno, who set the fastest times in FP2 and FP3, will start the race in fifth. Having won the race in Qatar, he will be looking for a similar result this weekend.

The top six riders were covered by less than half a second, with Dennis Foggia just 0.442s off the polesitter. He claimed sixth despite crashing at turn two.

Sergio Garcia also took a tumble, crashing in Q1. However, he managed to make it in to Q2 and secured seventh place. This comes a week after his podium finish in Qatar.

Garcia’s teammate took eighth with Deniz Oncu and Ayumu Sasaki rounding out the top ten.

John McPhee isn’t in action this weekend after fracturing two vertebrae in a training accident.

Moto3’s race will commence at 12pm (GMT+8) and you can stay up to date with all the action here at Crew On Two.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP


Posted on 19th March, 2022 for The PitCrew Online

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MotoGP COTA Practice Cancelled

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With large storms hitting the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Saturday morning, all three classes have had their Free Practice 3 session canceled.

The lightning and heavy rain have simply left the track too dangerous to venture out on. This meant that several delays culminated in canceled sessions.

However, this weather had been predicted and resulted in a heavier focus than usual placed on Fridays Free Practice 1 and 2.

As a result, it was Maverick Viñales who came out on top, marginally ahead of Marc Marquez. The reigning champion is chasing his seventh COTA win. Moto2 saw Marcel Schrotter and his Dynavolt Intact GP bike lead the way in both Friday session. Romano Fenati dominated both Mot2 sessions on the VNE Snipers machine.

Qualifying is still due to go ahead as normal, however this is subject to the conditions at the time. They are scheduled to kick off at 20:10 (UK time) for Qualifying 1 and 20:35 for Qualifying 2.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP.com


Posted on 13th April, 2019 for The Checkered Flag

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Moto2 and Moto3 Testing Ends with Lowes and Fenati on Top Again

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As the final day of pre-season testing kicked off, some might be forgiven for having a sense of deja vu. However, the previous fastest lap times were smashed as riders seek to make a statement ahead of the first race.

Moto2

Sam Lowes and his Federal Oil Gresini bike enjoyed another day at the top of the timing sheets after his fastest lap time on Saturday. Sunday saw him beat this with a 1:58.439, putting him firmly at the head of the pack ahead of the first race of the season.

Just 0.224s behind the Brit was Tom Lüthi on the Dynavolt Intact GP bike, who also hit a test quickest on the final day in Qatar.

Remy Gardner and Augusto Fernandez, in third and fourth respectively, were split by a mere 0.002s. Marcel Schrötter was just another 0.030s behind the pair, taking fifth quickest for the day.

Three Spaniards followed in sixth, seventh and eighth places. These were Xavi Vierge on the Marc VDS machine, ahead of Jorge Navarroand Vierge’s team-mate, Alex Marquez.

Sunday’s top ten all set their quickest laps across the combined testing sessions, showing the desire to lay down the gauntlet ahead of the season opener at the Losail track in Qatar.

Moto3

With much of the grid eager to lay down a fast lap, the day was certainly full of action. All riders, except Gabriel Rodrigo, managed to better their previous lap times on the final day of testing. Rodrigo is still recovering after his Saturday crash left him with a broken collar bone.

But it was team-mates, Romano Fenati and Tony Arbolino, who topped the timesheets for the final day in Qatar. Fenati set a time of 2:05.285 to pip his teammate to the top spot by 0.230s. The pair have been at the top for every day of testing in Qatar.

Aron Canet came in 0.368s behind the pair in third, with Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta in fourth. Niccolo Antonelli rounded out the top five, who were all covered by just over half a second.

Briton, John McPhee set a time of 2.05.899 to secure himself sixth, just 0.131s ahead of Marcos Ramirez in seventh. Tatsuki Suzuki, Dennis Foggia and his rookie team-mate, Celestino Vietti came in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

With all testing now complete, we have just seven days to wait until they set off on their first race of the season. This will take place at the Losail track in Qatar on the 10th of March.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP.com


Posted on 3rd March, 2019 for The Checkered Flag

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Lowes & Fenati on Top for Penultimate Day of Moto2 and Moto3 Testing

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The penultimate day of pre-season testing got underway with much improved conditions at the Losail track in Qatar, after the blustery start to Friday.

Moto2

The day ended with Sam Lowes and his Federal Oil Gresini bike fastest. He set a time of 1:58.824, placing him just 0.055s ahead of Remy Gardner. They were the only two riders to dip below the 1:59 mark.

Third fastest for the day was reigning Moto3 champion,  Jorge Martin on the Red Bull KTM. He finished with a time of 1:59.039, which was 0.215s slower than Lowes.

The top five riders of the day were split by less than 0.4s, with the Marc VDS team-mates of Alex Marquez and Xavi Vierge in fourth and fifth respectively.

Two riders faced a tricker day on track, with Marco Bezzecchiand Xavi Cardelus both crashing. However, both riders were okay and went on to finish in 28th and 31st respectively.

 

Moto3

Day two on Moto3 testing saw the results from the previous day flipped on their head. Romano Fenati set the fastest time of the day, a 2:05.989. His team-mate, Tony Abolino was just 0.126s behind on the second Snipers Team bike.

Aron Canet and his Sterilgarda Max Racing bike came in third, ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta on the Leopard Racing machine. Both riders set times within 0.4s of Fenati’s benchmark lap.

However, testing for the lightweight class saw some big incidents. Gabriel Rodrigo will struggle to be on the grid for the first race of the season after an incident with Niccolo Antonelli left him with a fractured collar bone. At the time, he was sitting in ninth, just 0.794s behind Fenati.

Filip Salac and Marcos Ramirez, who finished the day in seventh, also suffered crashes, albeit less severe than Rodrigo’s.

We have one day left of testing for Moto2 and Moto3 before their first races of the season kick off on Sunday 10th of March at the Losail track in Qatar.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP.com


Posted on 3rd March, 2019 for The Checkered Flag

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