And… we’re off! After the first full day of 2021 race weekend action for Moto3™, it’s Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) who heads the timesheets after an impressive day’s work from the 2019 Qatar GP winner. It was almost unbelievably close at the top, however, with Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 0.042 back, followed by Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) 0.068 off, Sergio Garcia (GASGAS Gaviota Aspar Team) within 0.096 and Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PrüstelGP) impressing to end the day just 0.099 off the top. Even the man in sixth, Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), was only three thousandths further back…
The morning session opened with Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on top as the rookies continued to impress, but the veterans turned the screw on the timsheets by the end of play. Izan Guevara (GASGAS Gaviota Aspar Team) also suffered his first World Championship crash in the afternoon, but rider ok. There were no other incidents to report, helping most get in a full day of running and every rider improve by the end of play.
Behind the five riders – six, being generous about three thousands for Antonelli – within a tenth at the top, Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) was P7 and only 0.182 off Toba, flanked by John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) as the Scotsman was 0.037 in further arrears. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Maximilian Kofler (CIP Green Power) completed the top ten, the gap between the two an infinitesimal 0.005.
If Q2 were decided now, it would be Carlos Tatay (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3), Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – who didn’t run much in FP1 – Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and the aforementioned Acosta who would be heading through. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was the first to miss out, Guevara was 20th, and the returning Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in P24 after Day 1, so they’ll be some of the key names looking to move forward in FP3.
With a top 14 on Friday split by just over half a second, there’s everything to play for. Tune in on Saturday at 13:25 (GMT +3) as the first Q2 entrants are decided in FP3, before qualifying for the Moto3™ class from 17:30.
Top 10 combined Day 1:
1. Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) – 2:04.839
2. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.042
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 0.068
4. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS Gaviota Aspar) + 0.096
5. Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PrüstelGP) + 0.099
6. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) + 0.102
7. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 0.182
8. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.219
9. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.263
10. Maximilian Kofler (CIP Green Power) + 0.268