A windy qualifying session has surprising names missing out on Q2 while a single team dominates the field.
We open up with the first Moto3 Qualifying since the passing of Jason Dupasquier, who will continue to be celebrated and remembered by his fellow Moto3 riders.
There are some surprising names in the Q1 session. Sergio Garcia, Jaume Masia and Andrea Migno are all riders that tend to lead races or packs of bikes. It could be the track, especially with the Circuit of Catalunya-Barcelona. It can be a hit or miss with some riders. The newly formed Turn 10 makes it a faster track, but not all riders are comfortable, here. It’s one of the few that has more left hand turns that right.
Unlike the last Moto3 qualifying, riders head out right away. It’s clear that there is no one person who is truly dominating the timesheets that the riders want a tow from. At least, in the Q1 session.
The first set of times have Garcia leading the pack with a 1:49:09, John McPhee quickly overtaking the first spot with a 1:48.875. The top four riders in the timesheets, and the riders that will move up to Q2, are Mchee, Garcia, Masia and Migno. It’s the riders that we expect to lead the session, Riccardo Rossi and Yuki Kunii barely missing out on that top four group.
Right before the five minute mark, the riders head back out for their final push. It’s good to remember, though, that qualifying in Moto3 is helpful but won’t necessarily tell you who will. Our championship leader Pedro Acosta is no stranger to missing out on Q2 and still winning races.
With two minutes left in the session, the leading group has not changed. The riders are all pushing hard, but it almost feels unnecessary. Unless they can have a strong push at the end, it’s hard to believe that anyone else will make it.
The world championship leader does suffer from some moments on the front end. Acosta is not afraid of pushing the limits and has the ability to save himself. On the other hand, Migno pushed the limits and ended up crashing out, missing out on Q2.
Surprisingly, with the wind picking up on the straight, some big names miss out.
When the checkered flag comes out, it’s McPhee, Artigas, Masia and Rossi who will join the others in Q2.
The first rider out for the session is Darryn Binder, last years race winner. While Stefano Nepa is the fastest , Binder is hoping for a top spot in Qualifying.
With 10 minutes left, the rest of the riders leave pit lane as Gabriel Rodrigo head out. It’s clear that he’s the one everyone would like a tow from despite the fact Nepa is the fastest.
The first set of times is lead by Izan Guevara, Jeremy Alcoba and Deniz Oncu. Binder temporarily had a top three time, but it was cancelled due to exceeding track limits. He is currently stuck in 6th, which is not a bad place, but is quickly dropped to 12th once the times come in again.
Those who came in from Q1 actually hold a sort of advantage over the others. Because the conditions changed and it is now very windy on the straight, riders who have only been in Q2 would need time to adjust and feel out conditions. The riders who were in Q1, much like McPhee, don’t need that time to adjust and can completely focus on their times. There does seem to be an advantage in Q1.
With five minutes left, Rodrigo, McPhee and Masia are leading the times. They hold the top three positions, but things can change very quickly.
The last push comes in from riders, who head out with hardly two minutes left. This means that the riders who have just head out have one last flying lap to change the time. To no one’s surprise, the riders follow Rodrigo on the track. It helps most of the riders, with the Indonesian Gresini team coming out on top.
Our front row riders are Gabriel Rodrigo, Alcoba and Niccolo Antonelli.
Tomorrow is going to be a very interesting race. We have the two Indonesian Gresini’s leading the pack with Antonelli, who is known for being a sort of wild card right behind them. It does seem like the wind could be an issue.
Tune in tomorrow to see how it all plays out.