FP3 sees Suzuki set Sepang lap record

Saturday morning is dry in Malaysia as we see plenty of chopping and changing in the lightweight class ahead of qualifying

Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) set a new Moto3™ lap record around the Sepang International Circuit top go quickest in FP3 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, the Japanese rider’s 2:11.673 was enough to beat second place Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) by under a tenth. Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo completed the top three.

No rain was in the air on Saturday morning and the cooler temperatures allowed the lightweight class to better their times from FP2. Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee was able to get himself into P4 from outside the top 14 in the opening 12 minutes, before Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) and Ramirez went faster than Kaito Toba’s (Honda Team Asia) top time from Friday with just over 15 minutes to go. With 14 minutes remaining though, Suzuki was on a charge. The SIC58 man went quicker than Jorge Martin’s 2018 pole lap to set a new record in Sepang, moving over 0.4 clear of his competitors.

The Japanese rider then missed the chance to go faster on the final flying lap as pretty much every rider cut it fine to make it round before the chequered flag came out, but in the end it wouldn’t matter. Ramirez’ P2 time came on his final lap as there were a few changes, but it’s Suzuki who leads the charge into qualifying. Behind third place Rodrigo sits Vietti, with 2019 Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) rounding out the top five.

McPhee had a good session to end Moto3™ FP3 in P6 and an automatic Q2 place, teammate Ayumu Sasaki joining McPhee and Dalla Porta in improving on their final flying laps. Ogura’s earlier time sees the Japanese rider claim P8 behind Sasaki, with FP2 leader Toba slipping to P10 behind Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) as the duo end Free Practice with the same time – Toba failing to improve in FP3.

Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) crashed at Turn 3 after contact with Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) – rider ok.

Big-name riders such as Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), Jaume Masia (Mugen Race) and Fenati will have to go through Q1. Tune in for Moto3™ qualifying at 12:35 local time (GMT+8) as the riders hope the weather stays dry.

Top 10:
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) – 2:11.673
2. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 0.063
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.390
4. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.420
5. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) + 0.440
6. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.479
7. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.648
8. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.713
9. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.793
10. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) + 0.793

Click here for the full results!

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