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Steady progress saw Jonas Folger lead Moto2™ Free Practice 3 ahead of Alex Rins and teammate Sandro Cortese.
Conditions were much cooler than Friday as Moto2™ began their Saturday with Free Practice 3. Track temperature had soared to above 50°C on Friday but was at just 33°C during the morning session. Having led both sessions on Friday, Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) started where he left off as he dropped into the 1’43s mid session.
As Free Practice 3 entered its final stages, Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) took over at the top from Zarco. Things really started to heat up in the final five minutes, Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) continuing to improve after a rough Friday. His time wouldn’t stand as a final flying lap from Folger dragged the German to the head of the timesheets. His 1’43.594 was just under a second faster than Zarco’s best time from Friday.
Rins would conclude the session in second, 0.153s back on Folger. This was the biggest gap between any two riders inside the top 22. Much like Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP™ World Championship, the Spaniard had struggled on the dirty track but with improved conditions was able to shine again. His team boss, Sito Pons, highlighted how Rins is a rider who uses all of the circuit and that simply wasn’t possible on Friday.
Spurred on by the great result of his teammate, Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) fought his way up to third in the session with a 1’43.783s. This time was only 0.169s back on the top spot held by his teammate and 0.036s behind Rins in second. Since Folger has joined the team, Cortese has taken a step forward and has been much closer to the front in all sessions.
Zarco chose not to head out for a final fast lap, the World Champion instead choosing to scrub in his race tyres and settle for fourth position. There’s little doubt the Frenchman is in similar form as to when he took victory at the Termas de Rio Hondo in 2015, but now with much more competition.
Completing the top five was Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing), the Italian having a near coming together with Rins during the session. Corsi has been able to continue the strong form Speed Up showed in 2015, the Roman ending on the podium in Qatar and again in the hunt.
Dominique Aegerter (CarXpert Interwetten), Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) and Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) formed the top ten, all within half a second of Folger’s time.
The incredibly competitive Moto2™ class saw the top 22 riders split by just over 1 second.
Edgar Pons (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) will not take part in the rest of the weekend or the race in Austin due to illness.
Results from Free Practice 3 can be viewed here.
Moto2™ head out for Qualifying at 15:05 Local Time.
2 years ago