MotoGP Austria: Oncu tops Moto3 FP3 as Ogden secures Q2

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was man of the morning in Moto3 as the Turkish rider topped the FP3 times with a 1’41.285.

Sterilgarda Husqvarna’s Ayumu Sasaki was his closest rival, just 0.026s adrift, after the Japanese rider’s fastest effort was deleted due to track limits while Autosolar GasGas Aspar’s Izan Guevara round out the top three. British riders John McPhee and Scott Ogden both securing places in the afternoon’s Q2 battle from seventh and fourteenth respectively.

The expected rain had failed to materialise as the lightweight class rolled out of pitlane for FP3, however, the clouds began to threaten in the opening stages of the 40-minute session. Red Bull KTM’s Daniel Holgado and Jaume Masia headed the times at the team’s home track on 1’42.899 pace, a second adrift of Friday’s outright best set by Leopard’s Dennis Foggia.

Sasaki was the next to lead the way as the pace neared it’s target, the Max rider the only top 15 rider to have improved on his Friday times as he testing the long lap loop ahead of his double penalty in Sunday’s 23-lap race. CIP Green Powers’ Kaito Toba commanded the gateway to promotion with a 1’42.4, a tenth ahead of returning teammate Joel Kelso, the first adrift.

Holgado was the first to strike as the second half began, the rookie setting an identical time to McPhee’s Friday best, to place him joint third, with the fastest five riders now covered by a mere 0.09s.

The main action fired up as the final quarter of an hour counted down. Guevara running just four tenths shy of the Foggia’s effort but on the cusp of the promotion zone before the Aspar rider advanced to fifth. Sasaki once again on the case as the Japanese rider stormed to the top with a 1’41.311 to better Foggia by half a second as the remainder of the pack rolled out for their final runs.

Masia fell foul of the chicane with six minutes to go as the KTM crashed, bringing out the yellow flags. Tech3’s Deniz Öncü rising to second with MT Helmets’ rookie Diogo Moreira closely behind before the Turk took charge overall next time around thanks to a 1’41.285. Tatsuki Suzuki became the next to succumb, at turn three, as the Leopard rider looked vulnerable in 12th. MTA’s Ivan Ortola and Stefano Nepa holing the last promotion places as the final minute got underway.

The championships’ leading trio sat third to fifth as all three improved their pace in the closing stages, Öncü and Sasaki vying for the lead before the Husqvarna’s late effort was deleted due to track limits. VisionTrack’s Ogden finding late session pace to contend for promotion with a 1’41.998, with the Brit 14th at the flag.

Click here for times