As qualifying laps go, that was unbelievably special from Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP). The Japanese star smashed the Moto3™ Sachsenring lap record by setting a 1:25.130 to beat second place Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by a staggering 1.092s. Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) rounds out the front row, the Spaniard 1.1s adrift of polesitter Sasaki in qualifying at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
Sasaki stuns, Holgado to start on Row 3
In contrasting conditions to what they endured in Practice 3, Sasaki set the initial benchmark and then got down to a 1:26.181 on his second flyer to sit 0.3s clear of Öncü. Sasaki then found the first 1:25s lap time of the session to go over half a second clear of the field after the first set of runs.
Pushing hard, Öncü closed Sasaki’s advantage to 0.2s as the session entered the final three minutes – with the majority of the field sat in pitlane. As it so often does in Moto3™, the last flying lap saw changes aplenty but the top two remained unchanged in terms of position. However, Sasaki unleashed a lap from the gods to take pole position by 1.092s! Simply sublime from the Japanese rider.
Sasaki managed to help get rookie teammate Collin Veijer up to P4 in an impressive session for the Dutchman too, with David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) fifth fastest ahead of title-chasing Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing). However, Muñoz was subsequently given a Long Lap and back of the grid penalty for riding slow on the line, so Masia is bumped up to P5 and World Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) now launches from the outside of Row 2. Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) now head up Row 3 ahead of Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team).
Next up: race time!
Can anyone take it to Sasaki at the Sachsenring? Find out at 11:00 local time (GMT+2)!
1. Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) – 1:25.130
2. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.092
3. Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) + 1.155
4. Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) + 1.511
5. David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) + 1.518
6. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) + 1.660
7. Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 1.696
8. Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 1.723
9. Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) + 1.768
10. Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) + 1.791