The GASGAS Aspar Team’s Izan Guevara has once again finished fastest in Free Practice for the Moto3™ field, this time in Round 11 of the season at the Motul TT Assen. In the first dry session of the weekend for the lightweight class, Guevara clocked a 1:41.526 with the chequered flag out to top FP3 at the TT Circuit Assen. However, that lap was only 0.035 seconds faster than that which Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia set just moments earlier, pointing towards a tantalising battle for pole position later on Saturday afternoon.
With the sun out at Assen, Foggia’s Leopard team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki was fastest at the halfway mark of FP3 on a 1:42.049, more than seven seconds quicker than the best lap which anyone set on Friday. On his second run, Foggia himself had moved the marker to a 1:41.820, but there was still more pace to be found in the final time attacks. World Championship leader Sergio Garcia (GASGAS Aspar Team) set a 1:41.771 before Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) clocked a 1:41.680 and then Guevara a 1:41.638.
Guevara had that lap scrubbed due to a yellow flag at the Geert Timmer Chicane and then Foggia laid down a 1:41.561 with the chequered flag out, but the man who has won the last two races of the season found just a little bit more time to put himself on top of the order. Behind them was Garcia in third with the aforementioned lap time, from Friday fast man David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) on a 1:41.804 and Suzuki on the 1:42.049. Rounding out the top 10 were Sasaki, Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets - MSI), John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max), Riccardo Rossi (Sic58 Squadra Corse), and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3).
There were a handful of crashes in the 40-minute session, three of which were particularly notable. Lorenzo Fellon (Sic58 Squadra Corse) had an ugly-looking tumble exiting the Stekkenwal with around 10 minutes to go, which forced Sasaki to fire onto the grass infield in taking evasive action. Fellon was to his feet quickly enough, although it appeared he may have been suffering some hand soreness. Then right at the end of proceedings, Elia Bartolini (QJMotor Avintia Racing Team) highsided at the Geert Timmer Chicane, with he and marshals still present when Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) slid into the gravel trap. Fellon got into Q2 in 11th, Holgado is 18th, and Bartolini is 24th.
Foggia has proved he is going to be no pushover in qualifying, but can he overcome the in-form Guevara in the fight for pole? Q1 starts later on Saturday at 12:35 (GMT +2).
Moto3™ Top 10:
1. Izan Guevara (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team) – 1:41.526
2. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.035
3. Sergio Garcia (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.245
4. David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) + 0.278
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing) + 0.523
6. Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 0.641
7. Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets - MSI) + 0.659
8. John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 0.699
9. Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.707
10. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 0.880