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Kornfeil drops into the 1’42s to lead Moto3™

Kornfeil drops into the 1’42s to lead Moto3™

Times continued to drop in the lightweight class as the action intensified ahead of Qualifying, Kornfeil heading Antonelli and Canet.

While the sun was out once more in Le Mans, the first session of the day for the Moto3™ was held in slightly cooler conditions than Friday’s FP2. Brad Binder’s (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1’43.365 was the benchmark, both Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) and Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) were immediately on the pace in the 1'43s.. Even with the cooler conditions time would quickly fall at rookie Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) made his presence known with a 1’43.142.

As is typical in the Moto3™ World Championship, fast laps came in abundance in the last minutes with Jakub Kornfeil setting a 1’42.832 to lead the session. Kornfeil is one of the most experienced riders in the lightweight class, taking his first podium in 2015. He is yet to return to the podium but has steadily been edging closer at almost every round. His time set a new benchmark, the first 1'42 of the weekend.

Second in the session was Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold), recovering well from a fall at Turn 7 in Free Practice 2. The start of his season was hampered by a collarbone injury sustained while training and he immediately reached for it after the FP2 fall, but Antonelli is clearly fit as he set a 1’43.053 to end 0.221s back on Kornfeil.

Rookie Aron Canet completed the top three, calling on his experience in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship. Pole setter and race winner at the CEV round in Le Mans in 2015, he clearly enjoys the circuit and completed FP3 with a 1’43.142. He could be a dark horse for a podium on Sunday, especially if he can stay with the leading group at the start.

Canet’s teammate, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completed the session in fourth ahead of championship rival Brad Binder. The top five were within just half a second of each other, Qualifying building towards being another exciting Moto3™ session.

Livio Loi (RW Racing GP), Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing), Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46), Jorge Martin (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) rounded out the top ten. Times remain incredibly tight, Bulega only 0.684s slower than Kornfeil’s best time.

Francesco Bagnaia’s (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) session got off to a difficult start as he was the victim of a large highside on the exit of Turn 14. The Jerez podium finisher was immediately on his feet and trying to get his bike started, but had to return to his box on the scooter.

Qualifying for the lightweight World Championship commences at 12:35 Local Time, Kornfeil certainly a favourite for pole after his form in Free Practice 3.

Full results from the session can be seen here.

Tags:
Moto3, 2016, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, FP3, Niccolò Antonelli, Aron Canet, Jakub Kornfeil, Drive M7 SIC Racing Team, Ongetta-Rivacold, Estrella Galicia 0,0, Report

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