The Turk helps himself to a big margin right at the end of FP3 at the MotorLand
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü has claimed Moto3™ Free Practice honours at the Grand Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon with a very late flying lap in FP3. The Turk was second when the chequered flag came out and safely through to Q2 later on Saturday afternoon when he put the exclamation mark on his morning by storming to a 1:57.265 around MotorLand Aragon. Öncü’s effort nudged World Championship leader Izan Guevara (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) back to second on the timesheet, with Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) taking third ahead of qualifying.
FP3 honours decided right at the end
Guevara was already solidly in the top 14 cut-off for Q2 berths in third position when he used a slipstream off Holgado to clock a 1:57.612 and go quickest with less than six minutes to go in the session. For a little while, the Spaniard had more than four tenths of a second on the field and his gap over Öncü was still 0.232 seconds when the chequered flag came out. However, the Tech3 rider pulled off a turnaround of almost six tenths of a second when he laid down the aforementioned session benchmark, finishing up 0.347 seconds up on Guevara. Holgado also improved on his final lap, to a 1:57.829, making him the last rider to lap Aragon under 118 seconds.
FP1 pace-setter Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) claimed fourth on a 1:58.037 and the very fastest rider on Friday, Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) is classified sixth after the first three sessions of the weekend on a 1:58.292, with the two split by Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP) on a 1:58.240. Rounding out the top 10 were Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI), John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max), Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo), and Sergio Garcia (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team).
Who else made Q2?
Also through to Q2 already are Adrian Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing), Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), and Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team). However, a crash right at the end of FP3 was costly for Kaito Toba – the CIP Green Power rider gave marshals the thumbs up but the spill cost him a chance to hold onto his spot in the top 14.
Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) and Nicola Carraro (QJMotor Avtintia Racing were both okay after spills at Turn 5 and Turn 2 respectively, although both will be joining Toba, among others, in Q1. Meanwhile, Alberto Surra (Rivacold Snipers Team) has gone to the medical centre with pain in his left hand and right hip at Turn 10, just five minutes into the session.
Here’s hoping Surra makes an appearance in Q1, which gets underway at 12:35 (GMT +2)!
Moto3™ Combined Top 10:
1. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) – 1:57.265
2. Izan Guevara (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.347
3. Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.564
4. Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 0.772
5. Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP) + 0.975
6. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 1.027
7. Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) + 1.043
8. John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 1.186
9. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.187
10. Sergio Garcia (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) + 1.195