Following Daniel Holgado’s win at the last round in Portimao, all eyes were on the Tech3 rider coming into this qualifying round, but it was not to be for the first race winner of the season.

A damp third practice, meant the riders who were in the top 14 combined times from Friday, went through to qualifying 2 directly. So although Romano Fenati was the fastest on Saturday, Ayumu Sasaki topped the combined times before qualifying began.

When the track was dry, there was no other rider who came close to Sasaki and this was proven in the final moments of qualifying 2. He sat fifteenth on the timing board and following Jose Antonio Rudea’s fall, Sasaki knew that he needed to show his speed sooner rather than later.

Going out alone, Sasaki put together an almost perfect lap when considering the drying track and popped a 1:48.539 onto the time sheets giving him a second pole of the season. Sasaki was the only rider who made it into the 1:48’s.

Ayumu Sasaki pole setter for Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo 2023 Moto3 Race. Image courtesy of IntactGP/R. Lekl & S. Wobser

Coming through from qualifying 1 was beneficial to Deniz Oncu as it gave him knowledge of the drying track, and this allowed him to slot himself into the middle of the front row. He did have to contend with some traffic on his fastest lap which meant that he finished 0.603’s slower than Sasaki.

Finishing off the front row was Diogo Moreira who used his track position to finish the session with a 1:49.214.

Ivan Ortola, who has the fastest time early on in the session, heads out the second row along with Jaume Masia and Tatsuki Suzuki.

The best rookie of the session was David Alonso in seventh after he was able to gain some time on the final lap he produced.

Scott Ogden produced a lap that slotted him into eighth on the grid and he will be using the confidence gained from his fast times in practice to help propel him up the field during the race. His teammate in the VisionTrack Team, Joshua Whatley starts 28th.

Andrea Migno is replacing Lorenzo Fellon who dislocated his shoulder in Portimao and Migno’s experience served him well allowing him to place his bike in ninth place.

Daniel Holgado was able to close out the session with a tenth-place finish in qualifying.

Kaito Toba was at the front of the pack, proving the tow for Oncu, and was often in some of the fastest groups during the session but could only finish the session in eleventh.

After coming through qualifying 1, Rueda was able to cross the line with only a few seconds left on the clock and pulled himself up the grid to thirteenth place.

After missing the start of the session, Collin Viejer was unable to progress any higher up the grid than 17th.

After topping the third practice session, Romano Fenati was only able to place his bike in 18th place.

1 Ayumu Sasaki JPN Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Husqvarna) 1m 48.539s
2 Deniz Öncü TUR Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 49.142s
3 Diogo Moreira BRA MT Helmets – MSI (KTM) 1m 49.214s
4 Ivan Ortolá SPA Angeluss MTA Team (KTM) 1m 49.314s
5 Jaume Masia SPA Leopard Racing (Honda) 1m 49.344s
6 Tatsuki Suzuki JPN Leopard Racing (Honda) 1m 49.417s
7 David Alonso COL Autosolar GASGAS Aspar M3 (GASGAS) 1m 49.454s
8 Scott Ogden GBR VisionTrack Racing Team (Honda) 1m 49.545s
9 Andrea Migno ITA CIP Green Power (KTM) 1m 49.642s
10 Daniel Holgado SPA Red Bull KTM Tech3 (KTM) 1m 49.665s
11 Kaito Toba JPN SIC58 Squadra Corse (Honda) 1m 49.673s
12 Matteo Bertelle ITA Rivacold Snipers Team (Honda) 1m 49.678s
13 José Antonio Rueda SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 49.766s
14 Stefano Nepa ITA Angeluss MTA Team (KTM) 1m 49.778s
15 Xavier Artigas SPA CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP (CFMOTO) 1m 49.904s
16 David Muñoz SPA BOE Motorsports (KTM) 1m 50.025s
17 Collin Veijer NED Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Husqvarna) 1m 50.028s
18 Ryusei Yamanaka JPN Autosolar GASGAS Aspar M3 (GASGAS) 1m 50.342s
19 Riccardo Rossi ITA SIC58 Squadra Corse (Honda) 1m 50.659s
20 Syarifuddin Azman MAL MT Helmets – MSI (KTM) 1m 50.784s
21 Filippo Farioli ITA Red Bull KTM Tech3 (KTM) 1m 50.838s
22 David Salvador SPA CIP Green Power (KTM) 1m 50.953s
23 Mario Aji INA Honda Team Asia (Honda) 1m 51.011s
24 Romano Fenati ITA Rivacold Snipers Team (Honda) 1m 51.358s
25 David Almansa SPA CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP (CFMOTO) 1m 51.697s
26 Taiyo Furusato JPN Honda Team Asia (Honda) 1m 51.729s
27 Ana Carrasco SPA BOE Motorsports (KTM) 1m 52.114s
28 Joshua Whatley GBR VisionTrack Racing Team (Honda) 1m 52.142s

Featured Image courtesy of IntactGP/R. Lekl & S. Wobser


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