For the first time since the 2017 British GP, Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) will start on pole position thanks to a 1:35.850 in Moto3™ Q2 at the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. Despite being taken out by Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3), SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki will start second on the grid with Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) completing the front row.
How the battle for pole played out
Suzuki was the initial pacesetter in Q2 with a 1:35.921, as Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates Pedro Acosta and Jaume Masia pulled straight back into pitlane after an out-lap. Drama then unfolded for the top two in the session at Turn 9, as Rodrigo – who already has a pitlane start for the Austrian GP – collided with Suzuki. Thankfully both riders were back up on their feet, but Q2 was done and dusted for Rodrigo and the luckless Suzuki, the latter headed to the medical centre for a check-up.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü and Ayumu Sasaki were sitting P3 and P4 with seven minutes to go, some three tenths off Suzuki’s time. Acosta then shot up to P2, 0.286s away from pole position, with Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) moving into P4 ahead of the Tech3 pair. A change at the summit then occurred as Fenati went 0.071s clear of Suzuki, just after Sasaki had pounced up to P2.
A bad day gets worse for @gabrirodrigo2! ????— MotoGP™???? (@MotoGP) August 14, 2021
Moments after receiving a pit lane start, the @GresiniRacing rider tangles with @TatsukiSuzuki24! Both riders are ok ????#Moto3 | #AustrianGP ???????? pic.twitter.com/F6TezRoaFs
Öncü set a great last lap of his session to go P3 but late laps from Masia and Alcoba shoved the Styrian GP polesitter back down to P5, with none of the riders able to better Fenati’s time at the chequered flag.
The top 10 in qualifying
Masia leads the second row of the grid in P4 thanks to that last lap personal best, and it’s an all Red Bull KTM branded Row 2 with Öncü and Sasaki enjoying a solid 15 minutes in qualifying. World Championship leader Acosta will launch from P7, the Spaniard won’t mind that, as Rodrigo ended the session in eighth. The Argentine won’t start from there though which means Foggia will take P8 on the grid as things stand, with Q1 graduate Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) and 11th place Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer GASGAS) completing the top 10 on the grid.
Tune into the lightweight class race at 11:00 local time (GMT+2) on Sunday morning!
1. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) – 1:35.850
2. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.071
3. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 0.210
4. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.243
5. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.254
6. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.319
7. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.357
8. Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 0.374
9. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.383
10. Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) + 0.391