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Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) recovered from an early crash to record a 1:35.933 to finish Moto3™ Free Practice fastest at the Michelin® Grand Prix of Styria. The Japanese rider’s time saw him edge out Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Filip Salac (Car Xpert Pruestel GP) to top spot, with less than three-hundredths of a second covering the three.
The sun was shining over the Red Bull Ring as the lightweight class took to the track, handing riders an opportunity to improve on their work from Friday. The session didn’t get off to the best of starts for Sasaki, who fell at turn 4 on the opening laps and only managed to complete six laps. It proved enough for him though, with his final effort knocking Masia off top spot.
There were no pitlane antics that we have become accustomed to seeing in the lightweight class, and as a result it led to a thrilling finale. Times good enough for a top five position were posted but in the blink of an eye they would tumble down the timesheets, leaving a number of riders in peril of losing their Q2 place. Ricardo Rossi (BOE Owlride) a fine example, with the Italian temporarily sitting third before eventually finishing in P11.
Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) left it late to make his move up the timesheets but he sits fourth overall, and he leads Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and rookie Izan Guevara (Santander GasGas Aspar) in the top six. Petronas Sprinta Racing duo John McPhee and Darryn Binder led the timesheets at the close of Friday’s action, they too left it late to secure their Q2 spots, and they sit either side of Sergio Garcia, who is in P7.
Both Tech 3 KTMs will be in Q2, with Deniz Oncu sitting tenth while Italian quartet Rossi, Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team), Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) and Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia VR46) round out the top 14.
Some big hitters missed the cut, with Romano Fenati( Sterildgarda Max Racing Team), Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Indinesian Racing Gresini Moto3) all in Q1, which begins at 12.35pm (CET).
Top 10 combined:
1. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) – 1:35.933
2. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.035
3. Filip Salac (CarXpert PrüstelGP) + 0.054
4. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 0.185
5. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.216
6. Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer Bank GasGas Aspar) + 0.217
7. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.226
8. Sergio Garcia (Santander Consumer Bank GasGas Aspar) + 0.255
9. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.256
10. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.273
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