Jaume Masia stormed to pole position today in Misano, increasing pressure on championship leader Daniel Holgado, with the championship lead halved to just 13 points after last weekend in Catalunya.
Ayumu Sasaki managed to rescue his qualifying and starts alongside Masia on the front row in 2nd. The Husqvarna rider crashed at the start of the Q2 session. Kaito Toba had the qualifying session of his season, as the Squadra Corse rider qualified in 3rd completing the front row of the grid.
With main title contenders Masia, Sasaki and Deniz Öncü all starting in front of Holgado. Everything is in place for another crazy Moto3 classic on Sunday.
Image Credit: Leopard Racing
AS IT HAPPENED
Championship leader Daniel Holgado was in the Q1 session after being unable to string a good lap time together so far this weekend.
David Munoz lit up sector 2 and crashed out at the start of the session. Munoz went up the inside of Ogden and into a high side crash. Fortunately Munoz seemed ok and we know Munoz doesn’t mind racing from the back. In the race on a Sunday, you can guarantee to see Munoz fighting his way through the pack.
Early leaders in the Q1 session were Holgado top with Matteo Bertelle 2nd, Xavi Artigas 3rd and David Salvador in 4th.
Riccardo Rossi breaking into the top 4 just before everyone headed back into the pits for new tyres for the remainder of the session.
Holgado keen to get on with it and now on track putting in the work to get through to Q2. Holgado going over half a second clear to the rest of the field on his second go at getting through to Q2. A time of 1:42.467 to top the session, a fantastic time set from Holgado.
Munoz back on his spare bike at the end of the session managed to scrape 4th and get into Q2. Heroic from Munoz getting into Q2, after toppling over only moments before.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) September 9, 2023
After being quickest this morning KTM rider Deniz Öncü will be gunning for pole in this Q2 session.
Ayumu Sasaki crashed out in sector 4 on his out lap. A disastrous start for Sasaki to this session. Sasaki ok in the crash but this was the last thing Sasaki need with the fight for the championship heating up at the minute.
Toba the first to cross the line and set the first flying lap of the session. Quickly topped by Munoz and then followed by Masia. Masia quickest in both of the Friday practice sessions, only just to be topped by Öncü in this mornings session.
10mins remaining of the session and the next set of flying laps are coming through. Masia tops the session followed by Munoz and Holgado currently locking out the front row.
Öncü now with red sectors in 2 and 3 and comes through to set the quickest time of the session only to be pipped straight away by Diogo Moreira. Moreira clearly on a high and full of confidence after his deal this week promoting him to Moto2 for next season.
As both GASGAS Aspar team riders Ryusei Yamanaka and David Alonso head back into the pits, Masia comes across the line but unable to knock Moreira off the top spot. Moreira sitting at the top a tenth clear to Masia in 2nd with Öncü 3rd. Holgado dropped down to 6th at this stage with 6mins remaining of the qualifying session.
Sasaki back out onto the track now and with the spare bike, managed to get up to 6th place on his first flying lap. Sasaki determined to recover as much as possible after crashing only a few mins earlier in the session.
The last flying laps now Toba out of nowhere topped Moreira at the top. Sasaki then quickest but only for a few moments as Masia come by and blown Sasaki’s time away by over 2 tenths of a second. The rest of the swarm of riders still come through but didn’t look like the rest of the field will be challenging for pole position.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) September 9, 2023
Pole position for Masia for the San Marino Grand Prix. Exactly what Masia would of dreamt of last night as the championship battle is heating up in Moto3.
Image Credit: MotoGP