MotoGP Germany: Suzuki denies Guevara in Moto3 day one

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Leopard’s Tatsuki Suzuki left it to the final stages to deny Friday commander Izan Guevara the Moto3 honours at the Sachsenring.

The GasGas rider had held court across both of the opening day’s sessions until the Japanese rider arrived with his 17th of 19 afternoon laps to steal the show with a 1’26.363 effort. Teammate Dennis Foggia completed the top three with Sterilgarda Husqvarna’s John McPhee fifth.

Ayumu Sasaki, rather surprisingly, returned to the field following his Mugello incident which left him with a fractured collarbone. The Japanese rider initially expected to be out until after the summer break but passing fit for action on Thursday afternoon to join his Max Racing teammate McPhee in preparation for the demanding 27-lap race. Alberto Surra doing likewise on the Rivacold Snipers as the full contingent of Moto3 riders wheeled out for FP1.

Aspar’s Guevara set the opening pace with a 1’28.566 as the laps began to register before Deniz Öncü bettered on the Tech3 KTM. Red Bull Ajo rider Jaume Masia suffering the first fall of the weekend at turn one as the spaniard slid out from third.

Guevara repeatedly refined the pace from P1 in quick succession. Breaking into the 1’27’s with his fifth attempt to sit over three-tenths clear of the pack, with Andrea Migno now the nearest challenger after ten minutes on track. Sic58’s Riccardo Rossi, Foggia and McPhee rounding out the top five until the standings shuffled again.

Impressive pace found VisionTrack Honda’s Scott Ogden circulating sixth as the first practice unfolded. McPhee dropped to 11th with Josh Whatley familiarising himself with the tight German track from 26th.

A CIP Green Power attack saw Kaito Toba lead Joel Kelso to sixth and seventh as the session met the halfway stage. MT Helmets’ Diogo Moreira bettering the duo with Sergio Garcia and Xavi Artigas heading Ogden on the edge of the top ten before Kelso promoted himself to second.

Guevara maintained control, with a 1’27.387, as the final runs fired up. McPhee sitting ninth with Ogden three places back as Ivan Ortola became the first to strike, to sixth, as the action picked up. Öncü was back in charge thanks to the first 1’26 of the morning, Ryusei Yamanaka and Tatsuki Suzuki slotting in neatly behind on the bubble of 1’27 with Foggia and Migno completing the top five once again.

McPhee’s 1’26.691 stormed the standings with three minutes left on the clock. Adrian Fernandez promoting the second Tech3 machine to sixth with KTM’s Daniel Holgado and Oden narrowly behind before Guevara returned to command, 0.056s faster than the Scot.

The leading duo, and Foggia in third, all hit red sectors next time around as the chequered flag prepared. Guevara advancing the outright target to 1’26.459 as the session concluded with the trio remaining in position ahead of Öncü, Garcia and Sasaki. Ogden completing the first 40-minutes 11th overall after a 1’27.287 best with Whatley 27th.

The afternoon action brought near 30’s air temperatures and a 47℃ track as McPhee took charge in the opening times. Guevara bettering with Foggia behind as the top three mirrored the overall standings, albeit just under a second adrift of their best efforts of the day so far.

Rossi was the next to join the front runners, with Suzuki completing the fastest five. Ogden kicking his afternoon session off from 14th as he maintained his Q2 contention.

Moreira was the first to improve on his FP1 offering, sitting seventh in the second practice and 20th in the combined times as Guevara continued to refine his pace to within four-tenths of his outright target. The GasGas rider again the first to break into the 1’26 pace despite the increasing heat.

The VisionTrack pair were seen working together on track across the mid-session as Whatley improved his position to 15th, neatly ahead of teammate Ogden, with the 16-year-old’s best just 1.3s off the outright pace, in 24th overall.

The final five minutes found Stefano Nepa enter the top three as FP2 wound down. The Angeluss MTA rider claiming fourth in the combined standings before the pack began to strike. Suzuki refining the outright pace with a 1’26.363 from Guevara, Kelso and McPhee with Lorenzo Fellon bettering Foggia in the top six as Nepa dropped to seventh. Öncü, Yamanaka, Moreira and Holgado heading Masia, David Muñoz and Migno in the final provisional Q2 places with Garcia just adrift and Ogden demoted to 17th in the latter stages.

Click here for times