World Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) laid down the gauntlet in Moto2™ FP3 at the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich by setting a new lap record at the Red Bull Ring. The Australian’s 1:28.153 was enough to beat teammate Raul Fernandez by 0.313s, as Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completes the top three.
Fierce pace in the final 10 minutes
After a flurry of times early in the session, where we saw as many of seven riders split by less than a tenth at one stage, we didn’t see too much happening in terms of the times changing until the final 10 minutes of FP3. Raul Fernandez was the first rider to go under the old lap record before Gardner then raised the bar, his table-topping time over three tenths clear of his rivals. A real warning from the title race leader ahead of qualifying.
Automatic Q2 qualifiers
Behind the leading trio comes rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), the Japanese rider sits ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team). Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) left it until the closing stages of FP3 to make his way into the top 10, the Styrian GP podium finisher is 7th after Free Practice. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) are all safely into the pole position fight later.
Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) continues his impressive speed at the Red Bull Ring, the Italian rookie is P11 ahead of the experienced Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team). Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) take the final two top 14 spots, as the likes of Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2), Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP40) and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) just miss out on an automatic Q2 place.
Moto2™ qualifying is coming up at 15:10 local time (GMT+2).
Top 10 combined:
1. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:28.153
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.313
3. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.362
4. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.445
5. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.458
6. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.480
7. Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.522
8. Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.553
9. Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) + 0.576
10. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.587