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Returning Rodrigo tops FP3 as big names miss out on Q2

Title fighter Aron Canet will be joined in Q1 by the SIC58 Squadra Corse duo of Niccolo Antonelli and Tatsuki Suzuki

Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo set the fastest lightweight class lap of the weekend so far to make sure he fronted the field ahead of qualifying at the Grand Prix Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. The Argentine hasn’t raced since the German Grand Prix but is immediately looking competitive on his return from injury.

Rodrigo ended over three-tenths of a second clear of World Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) after setting a 1:42.127, just a quarter of a second away from Jorge Martin’s outright lap record. Dalla Porta was closely followed on the timesheets by his Leopard Racing teammate, Marcos Ramirez, in third.

WWR’s Jaume Masia was the top KTM in fourth before Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee completed the top five. Filip Salac (RedoxPruestel GP) ended exactly half a second adrift of Rodrigo in sixth and jumped ahead of the Italian duo of WWR’s Andrea Migno and SKY Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti, who ended seventh and eighth respectively.

VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino remained inside the top ten and secured a place in Q2, however, the same can’t be said for teammate Romano Fenati, who ended the session 23rd on the combined timesheets and consequently will have to fight it out of Q1 later today. Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) rounded out the top ten with Q2 places also going the way of Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) and Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia).

Friday’s pacesetter, Sama Qatar Angel Nieto’s Albert Arenas, was the only man inside the top 14 to not improve on their FP1 or FP2 laps, in part due to a crash halfway through the session. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) also crashed out and also failed to improve, meaning the pair had to settle for Q1.

Jakub Kornfeil (RedoxPruestel GP) took the final place in Q2 at the expense of title protagonist, Sterilgarda Max Racing Team’s Aron Canet who closed the session in 15th. The man currently second in the Championship will have to fight for a place in Q2 alongside the SIC58 Squadra Corse pairing of Niccolo Antonelli and Tatsuki Suzuki later today.

Top 10 combined:
1. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) 1:42.127
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) + 0.343
3. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 0.424
4. Jaume Masia (WWR) + 0.468
5. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.490
6. Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) + 0.501
7. Andrea Migno (WWR) + 0.513
8. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.520
9. Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) + 0.565
10. Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.583

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