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Strong showing from teammates Kent and Ono in Moto3™

Strong showing from teammates Kent and Ono in Moto3™

Danny Kent topped the sole Friday Practice session for Moto3™ before heading straight into Qualifying on Saturday.

The Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar presents a unique situation for the Moto3™ riders with only one session on Friday and one on Saturday, giving little chance for riders to adapt to any changes in track conditions before the crucial Qualifying session.

The final six minutes of FP3 saw Kent, Navarro, Oliveira, Quartararo and Antonelli all battling for a final fast lap along with Brad Binder and Hiroki Ono. Danny Kent topped the FP3 session, but the real surprise was Hiroki Ono in second position as he makes his full time Moto3™ debut.

A 2’06.413s with just a minute to go saw Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent claim the top spot amongst a rash of fastest laps from the top ten after taking a wrong step with setup in FP2. Kent’s teammate Hiroki Ono was a great surprise amongst the frantic action, able to get into second spot and 0.1s off his experienced teammate.

Oliveira’s times on the Red Bull KTM Ajo were set while riding alone, and he was able to lap in the low 2’07s to mid 2’06s consistently. The Portuguese rider is confident he can go faster with a slipstream. He highlighted the KTM’s stability in fast corners as a strong point as he continues to adapt well to his new machine.

Brad Binder was the only other KTM in the top ten, the South African working with Oliveira on track during the early parts of the session. Despite some rear brake issues, Binder and the Ajo team are confident going into Qualifying.

The Estrella Galicia 0,0 duo of Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro flew around the Losail International Circuit in formation in the second half of session, although were held up on several occasions by traffic on the track. The pair proving they will be a threat in Qualifying, able to make the most of the soft compound tyres immediately and work together for better times.

Mahindra’s efforts were once again led by Francesco Bagnaia, the VR46 Academy rider up in ninth position and almost a second faster than teammate Jorge Martin. Mahindra qualified 11th in the Grand Prix here last season with Oliveira.

Romano Fenati had a difficult session with a crash at Turn 15 limiting his track time. The SKY Racing Team VR46 rider was unhurt and recovered to put in his best time of the weekend. He is yet to drop below a 2’07.3 and has set almost identical lap times in all three practice sessions.

Both Karel Hanika and Enea Bastianini, former Red Bull Rookie race winners, struggled finishing in 18th and 19th respectively. Bastianini has yet to gel fully with his new Honda machine due to limited dry testing time.

Moto3™ head straight into Qualifying tomorrow evening as their lone session at 18:oo local time in Qatar.

Click here for the combined Free Practice results.



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