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Fenati fends off rivals for top spot in FP3

Fenati fends off rivals for top spot in FP3

Romano Fenati cut through the Moto3™ field in FP3, setting a 1’49.994 to lead ahead of Binder and Bulega.

Much cooler conditions greeted the Moto3™ World Championship for FP3 in Argentina. However, there were also high winds of over 20km/h to contend with, the small Moto3™ bikes often struggling with strong gusts.

Times at the top quickly came close to Friday’s best, the track clearly in a better condition than before. On his fourth lap of the session, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was able to get under Enea Bastianini’s (Gresini Racing Moto3) best time and drop into the 1’50s. Traffic became an issue in the closing five minutes, the top rider expertly navigating their way through the pack.

An incredible sequence of laps saw Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) drop first into the 1’50s and then set the first 1’49 lap of the weekend. The experienced Italian, one of just three riders to start every Moto3™ World Championship race, topped the session with a 1’49.994.

Several riders challenged Binder, but when the South African put in fresh Dunlop tyres we was able to drop his time to a 1’50.263. This time was over a second faster than his Friday time, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider able to set his time without a tow of any kind and saw him settle for second.

Completing the top three was the impressive rookie, Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46). On his first visit to the circuit he has shown his incredible ability to quickly learn a circuit and immediately match the pace of the leaders. Finishing the session under half a second from his teammate Fenati bodes well for both Qualifying and the race.

Enea Bastianini again showed well as he improved his time from Friday to drop into the 1’50s and wrap up Free Practice 3 in fourth. The Italian was the lone Honda inside the top five, the KTMs having a slight edge in Argentina.

Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) was also able to produce a respectable time of 1’50.687. Oettl has frequently shown strong pace during practice throughout his World Championship career but has struggled to produce similar laps in Qualifying, having never started on the front row.

Livio Loi (RW Racing GP BV), Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda Team Asia, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Jorge Martin (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) and Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) completed the top ten.

John McPhee (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) was an early faller at Turn 5, the Scott able to walk away unharmed. Maria Herrera (MH6 Laglisse) fell in the final moments of the session at Turn 11.

Full times from the session can be viewed here.

Moto3™ Qualifying commences at 12:35 Local Time at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.

Moto3, 2016, GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA, FP3, Brad Binder, Nicolo Bulega, Romano Fenati, SKY Racing Team VR46, Red Bull KTM Ajo

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