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Folger fastest as damp Le Mans brings drama

Folger fastest as damp Le Mans brings drama

Jonas Folger has topped the third and final practice period for Moto3™ at Le Mans. The Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 rider led Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins as a selection of damp patches caught out numerous riders across the 40-minute session.

The first surprise of the day was the fact that no rain was falling, although there had been showers on Friday night which left several wet patches around the 4.185-kilometre circuit. Folger led with 1’44.724, which was over half a second slower than Rins’ quickest lap of yesterday as the pair sandwiched championship leader Viñales into second position. Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira ended proceedings fourth as GO&FUN Gresini Moto3’s Niccolo Antonelli completed the top five.

Niklas Ajo was sixth for Avant Tecno as the leading group of ten was rounded out by Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom, Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou, Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Isaac Viñales, cousin to Maverick. In 20th spot, French wildcard rider Jules Danilo impressed for Marc VDS Racing Team, finishing only two tenths of a second behind Belgian teammate Livio Loi who scored on his debut in Jerez a fortnight ago.

The slippery surface continually caught out the riders, many of whom lost control when touching the artificial grass exiting final corner Raccordement. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing), Florian Alt (Kiefer Racing), Alessandro Tonucci (La Fonte Tascaracing), Matteo Ferrari (Ognetta-Centro Seta) and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox RW Racing GP) all went down, whereas Mahindra’s Efren Vazquez withdrew from the event with a right collarbone fracture following his accident on Friday. In the closing moments, Salom - second in the riders’ standings to Viñales - lost control as both he and his bike collected the air fence at the top of the start/finish straight.

Moto3™ Qualifying begins at 12:35pm local time (GMT +2)


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