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11 days ago
By motogp.com

Pasini a tenth clear of Marquez, top 26 within a second

It’s incredibly tight in the Moto2™ field after Free Practice 3 as three-tenths splits the automatic Q2 places

Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) heads an incredibly tight Moto2™ field at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich after the Italian was able to set a 1:28.811 to beat Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by 0.108, with Czech GP podium finisher Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) third fastest.

The air temperature was hot, the track temperature was hot and by the end of the intermediate class’ FP3 session, the pace was scorching too. Marquez was a big mover in the earlier stages to climb from P15 to P5 but all the action came inside the final 10 minutes. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) went P2 and P3 from just outside the top 10 to set the tone for a cracking end to the session, with every thousandth of a second counting in the Moto2™ class around the Red Bull Ring.

Marquez then went second before a flurry of riders – including Marquez - all displaced Brad Binder’s (Red Bull KTM Ajo) timesheet topping time in quick succession. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Bastianini and Pasini were all line astern as the latter posted the weekend’s best time, going over a tenth clear of the field. Marquez was then able to improve to go back to second, but Pasini’s advantage was still over a tenth and with just a couple of minutes remaining, half a second covered the top 20. 14th and above would make it through to Q2 automatically as the two FlexBox HP 40 bikes of Augusto Fernandez and Lorenzo Baldassarri improved late on to go inside the top 10.

Meanwhile, Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) was setting red sectors in the first and second splits, but the Italian couldn’t master the third sector as Marini kept setting personal best times that were putting him around the 13th/14th danger zone mark. It looked like he may just sneak in though but Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin was on a later flyer. The reigning Moto3™ World Champion wanted to get straight into the Q2 fight on KTM’s home ground – and that’s exactly what he did. Martin went from outside the top 14 to P8 to demote Marini, with big names such as Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46), Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) missing out.

However, Pasini, Marquez, Bastianini, Vierge and title challenger Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) didn’t have any such trouble. Your top five are split by less than two-tenths heading into qualifying this afternoon, with Friday’s pacesetter Binder sitting sixth thanks to his FP2 lap. Schrötter heads Martin, Fernandez and Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) claim the final top ten spots.

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Moto2™ FP3 in Austria: Day 2 is in full swing

You don’t want to miss what looks set to be a frantic Moto2™ qualifying, but will the rain affect play? Tune in at 15:05 local time (GMT+2) to see who will grab Austrian GP pole position.

Top 10 combined:
1. Mattia Pasini (Team Racing Scuderia Moto2) – 1:28.811
2. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.108
3. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.138
4. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.175
5. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.177
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.218
7. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.221
8. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.243
9. Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP40) + 0.270
10. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.272

Click here for the full results!

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