Bike Racing

Moto3: Mind Games End with Suzuki On Top

Feature Image Credit: Tatsuki Suzuki

Two qualifying sessions full of mind games and last minute laps ramp up the pressure in Moto3 as the championship tightens.

Q1

The first session of the day starts out slower than usual, with riders waiting until the 12 minute mark to head out on their bikes. One of the bigger names of the session is Riccardo Rossi, who had his first podium two weeks ago in Le Mans.

Most of the riders also take the time to try out high speeds in the long lap penalty loop.

Pedro Acosta suffers from an early moment on the KTM, making his first timed lap come out to 1:58:254.  He was instantly overtaken on his time by Alberto Surra. Acosta generally thrills an audience during a race, but this weekend sees him thriving even in qualifying.

Before he can get a time in, Takuma Matysuyama suffers from a major high side at turn 15. Almost immediately after, Izan Guevara and Rossi touch at turn 10, sending Guevara into the gravel. It was the most action the session saw, but lead to Guevara having to go to the medical center for a check-up.

With five minutes left in the session, Tatsuki Suzuki is topping the session. Kaito Toba, Nicolo Antonelli and Sura follow safely in the top four.

Again, Acosta is thriving in Mugello. While it isn’t too important to qualify well in the Junior Class, it is most certainly helpful. This can only do him and his championship run good.

The riders’ last flying lap sees Acosta leading a small pack of riders through the track. Acosta is a great reference for any rider due to his willingness to reach the limits and high speeds.

Heading into Q2 are: Suzuki, Toba, Acosta and Antonelli.

Q2

The second qualifying sessions starts much like the first, though to an even greater extreme.

Acosta is the first one out, just coming from Q1 as he has the entire track to himself. This gives him a great opportunity to sneak in extra practice time while the other riders play a game with each other.

It seems to have worked, because at the 10 minute mark, Andrea Migno heads out. Nearly every other Moto3 rider follows him, due to his incredibly high speeds and great times in the free practice sessions. Most of the session is slow and lacks the fast paced Moto3 entertainment we are used too.

On the last flying lap, the session was stopped when Jason Dupasquier crashes in the middle of the track and takes Sasaki down with him. It was a horrendous crash that was a consequence of a simple overtaking tactic by Garcia. Jeremy Alcoba also suffered from a crash, just a little ways down.

The session ends with Tatsuki Suzuki setting an all-time lap record and pole position. Acosta holds an impressive 2nd with Rodrigo finishing off the front row.

While there was little action in the two sessions today, something has to be said of this tactic. There is no rule that says riders cannot ‘wait out’ other riders, but how long should a qualifying session be? If the riders are not heading out until the eight or seven minute mark, then why is their session 15 minutes? It puts their time in jeopardy. Just eight minutes can mean the difference between Acosta getting pole and Rossi.

This is not the first time we have seen it and it won’t be the last.

Tune in tomorrow for a thrilling race at the Italian Circuit- Mugello!

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