Moto3: Fenati Takes Austrian Pole, Canet 14th

The Moto3 qualifying session in Austria for round eleven of the 2019 World Championship saw Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) take pole position in dry conditions.

Q1 saw a return to days past, with riders more concerned with having people out of their tow than actually setting a lap time. Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) returned to pit lane to get people out of his slipstream, and it worked. He had clear track in front of and behind him on his fastest lap, which was enough for him to top the session. The Spaniard was joined in advancing to Q2 by Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers), Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0).

In Q2, the track remained dry, and the riders remained hectic. On the final run, almost all of the riders were together on track, fighting for track position – potentially illegally.

In the end it was Romano Fenati who qualified fastest, ahead of Sachsenring pole sitter Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Jaume Masia.

John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was one of the few riders to lap on his own in the final run, and for a minute or so he had pole position. In the end, he ended up fourth, with the Honda Team Asia duo of Ai Ogura and Kaito Toba joining him on the second row in fifth and sixth respectively.

Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) had a problem at the end of the session and had to be pushed the wrong way down pit lane. He qualified seventh ahead of Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), whose final lap was one of many to be hindered by traffic, and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing).

Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) rounds out the top ten in qualifying, heading up row three from Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), who has been strong this weekend but had his Q2 compromised by a crash on his first run. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completes row four.

Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) heads up row five from championship leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) who had some problems early on in Q2, seemingly with the brakes. When he got back out his strategy was not perfect, and so he was only fourteenth. Andrea Migno completes row five.

Row six sees Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) ahead of Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0).
Stefano Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) had a strong session in Q1 but was only fast enough for fifth, meaning he will head up row seven in nineteenth and will be joined by Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Filip Salac (Redox PruestelGP).

Can Oncu, Austrian Moto3, 2019. Image courtesy of Gold and Goose/KTM

Row eight sees Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) ahead of Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) and Gabriel Rodrigo’s replacement at Kommerling Gresini Moto3, Jeremy Alcoba; whilst Riccardo Rossi (Kommerling Gresini Moto3) is ahead of Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and wildcard Maximilian Kofler (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) on row nine. The two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, Turkish twins Can and Deniz Oncu qualified twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth respectively. Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) qualified thirtieth but a grid penalty means he will start from the back of the grid, meaning teammate Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) will start from the back of row ten.

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