Red Bull KTM Ajo's Raul Fernandez has continued his impressive form around the Automotodrom Brno after taking top spot in a frantic Moto3™ FP3 session at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix. The Spaniard is over half a second clear of Sterilgarda Max Racing Team's Romano Fenati, the first time the Italian has appeared inside the top three of a session in 2020, and Honda Team Asia's Ai Ogura.
Fernandez was one of 15 riders suspended from the first ten minutes of FP3 due to irresponsible riding during FP2 but it didn't affect him at all, putting in the fastest lap of the weekend in the closing stages of the final Free Practice session to make sure he's been third in FP1 and now fastest in both FP2 and FP3. Initially, Leopard Racing's Jaume Masia was his closest rival in second but the Spaniard had his lap time cancelled due to the new yellow flag rules, which were brought out following a crash by Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) with only a minute remaining.
Gaviota Aspar Team's Albert Arenas and Stefano Nepa completed the top five ahead of Kömmerling Gresini Moto3's Gabriel Rodrigo, with the Argentinian and Leopard Racing's Dennis Foggia the only two men inside the top 14 who didn't improve on their best lap time from Friday. Seventh on the combined timesheets was Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with the final places inside the top ten going the way of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Suzuki, despite his Turn 9 crash.
Two Japanese rookies will be in the fight for pole position later after both Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia) made it inside the top 14. They'll be joined there by the slightly fortunate Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Foggia, with the pair promoted into the top 14 following the cancellation of a handful of riders' lap time.
Q1 for the Moto3™ class gets underway at 12:35 and with Masia joined there by Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team), plus the SKY Racing Team VR46 duo of Andrea Migno and Celestino Vietti, it is not to be missed. Four will make their way into Q2 when we'll then find out if Suzuki can claim a fabulous fourth straight lightweight class pole position - tune in at 13:00 local time (GMT+2)!
Top 10 combined:
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 2:07.838
2. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.559
3. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.600
4. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team) + 0.606
5. Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team) + 0.706
6. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.774
7. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.823
8. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.837
9. Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.901
10. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 1.016