A shocking twist, maiden pole position, and new rider drama.
With our first qualifying of the season, let’s take a quick look at the rules before we continue.
The top 10 riders with the best times from FP1-FP3 will go straight into Q2, where they can battle for Pole Position. The rest of the riders need to go through Q1 to try and make their way into Q2. The four fastest riders in Q1 will go into Q2.
Now that we have that covered, let’s get started in the Moto3 drama.
Ayuma Sasaki, previously on the Ajo KTM team, is suffering on the track. This weekend has brought engine issues, yellow flag infringements and an overall disappointing start to 2022.
Unlike last year, where mind games ruled qualifying, all the riders head out onto the track as soon as they can. It is colder on the track and the wind conditions are bringing dust onto the track.
While some riders stay out to start their first round of times, quite a few riders head back into the pits to report to their teams. This is mainly based on track conditions so they can head back out in the best conditions.
As the first times come in, it’s important to note that KTM has a whole new team. Daniel Holgado and Adrian Fernandez are the two new guys in KTM- there are two KTM Teams in Moto3, Ajo and Tech 3- and their teammates are the experienced Deniz Oncu and Jamie Masia.
And with no surprise, the new KTM riders are topping the time sheets. Lorenzo Fellon is in third with Diogo Moreira in the final spot. Surprisingly, though, Ana Carrasco is in 5th place. She is the only woman in Moto3 and has not placed the best times in the FP sessions.
Now, she’s in the top four on the BOE SKX Bike.
With five minutes left in Q1 session, Ayuma Sasaki, Matteo Bertelle, Stefano Nepa and Daniel Holgado are headed into Q2.
The riders who have yet to head out for their last time do their best to get the timing perfect. Last season, there were multiple moments where the riders would head out too late and be unable to put their times in. It’s vital that they get their last time in, since most of the Moto3 riders depend on that last time around.
Even though Ayuma Sasaki is topping the Q1 session, he is still at risk. He has headed back into his box without staying out and making sure- which is definitely a risk.
Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for: who will make it into Q2?
Ayuma Sasaki, Ivan Ortola, Daneil Holgado and Matteo Bertelle.
Now, onto Q2!
Izan Guevara heads out right away, ahead of teammate Sergio Garcia. Right as Deniz Oncu is about to head out, they pull him back. You can tell something might be wrong with the bike settings.
Dennis Foggia, who was 2nd in the World Championship last year, is ready to get this season started. He wants pole position. And he wants the World Championship.
As the first times come through, Ayuma Sasaki, Andrea Migno and Dennis Foggia are in the top row.
For being in Q1, it’s almost shocking to see Sasaki in the top row. While truly anything can happen in Moto3, this isn’t something you see often.
With four minutes left, the track has quieted down as they all wait for their final run on the track. And at the 02:40 mark, the riders begin to head out and start their final go around Qatar.
Did they go out too soon? We’ll see. The clock continues to click down and most riders have yet to cross the start/finish line. It looks like all riders made it through, but with a tightly packed track, it’s all about who is going to come out on top.
And it’s Izan Guevara who is in pole position! This is followed by Sasaki and Masia.
After that eventful Qualifying session, who knows what will happen tomorrow?
Tune in to read all about it!