MotoGP Buriram: Double lap record as Foggia takes Moto3 pole

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Leopard’s Dennis Foggia completed a rapid Saturday in Thailand with Moto3 pole position and his second circuit record of the day.

A 1’42.077 secured the celebrations for the Italian in the final seconds of qualifying with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia and Husqvarna’s Ayumu Sasaki completing the front row for the 22-lap Thai Grand Prix.

A new all-time lap record of 1’42.084 saw Foggia top an unexpectedly dry FP3 as the Moto3 pace ignited over two seconds faster than Friday’s previous best with Sasaki and MTA’s Stefano Nepa in the top three. Aspar’s Izan Guevara and Sergio Garcia were amongst the riders unable to proceed directly into Q2, alongside BOE’s David Muñoz and CF Moto’s Xavi Artigas. VisionTrack’s Scott Ogden just a tenth shy of the promotion zone at the end of the free practice sessions, in 17th.

True to form Guevara was straight out the blocks and riding solo as Q1 began, the pack quickly tagging on to the back of the championship leader as SIC58’s Lorenzo Fellon set the initial 1’42.9 benchmark. Honda’s Taiyo Furusato, Tech3’s Adrian Fernandez and Garcia completing the top four after the opening runs with Muñoz yet to head out on track by the halfway stage.

Ogden sat sixth as the second runs prepared. Teammate Josh Whatley six places behind and just a tenth shy of the series leader as Guevara completed his opening shot in eleventh.

The Spaniard headed a trio of riders with three minutes to go, Muñoz and Fellon tagged onto the back of the number 28 as they shuffled the promotion zone. The Frenchman holding court with a 1’42.813 from Guevara, Furusato and Muñoz with less than two tenths covering the quartet. The usual on-track chaos disrupting the final minutes much to Guevara’s frustration with Garcia unable to improve from sixth and facing a 20th place grid start on Sunday.

The 15-minute shootout fired up with KTM’s Daniel Holgado in control from Furusato and Tech3’s Deniz Öncü before Sasaki and Muñoz rose to the top. Guevara aiming to free himself from the pursuing pack with a quick return to pitlane. John McPhee ran fifth on his second flying lap with just eight riders registering a time by the halfway stage. Foggia was the next to shine as the Italian set the target once again with a 1’42.466, while MT Helmets’ Diogo Moreira slotted into third.

Guevara led 2023 teammate and current MT Helmets rider Ryusei Yamanaka round a near empty track with five minutes to go, the pair finding eighth and fifth respectively before the pair improved next time around to sixth and fourth.

The pack rolled out en masse for the final two minutes with games aplenty around the 4.5km layout. The chequered flag dropped as the one and done efforts wound up, Masia the first to strike with a 1’42.369 before Foggia denied the move with another new record. Sasaki completed the front row, in third, from Nepa, Moreira and Holgado with Sic58’s Riccardo Rossi heading McPhee and Yamanaka on row three for the Thai Grand Prix. Muñoz completed qualifying in tenth from a disappointed Guevara with CIP Green Power’s Joel Kelso alongside while Furusato, Rivacold Snipers’ Andrea Migno, Fellon, the injured Öncü, CIP’s Kaito Toba and Leopard’s second rider Tatsuki Suzuki completed the top 18.

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