MotoGP Silverstone: Suzuki storms Moto3 FP3 times

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Leopard’s Tatsuki Suzuki secured the fastest Moto3 time of Saturday morning after setting a 2’10.713 effort around Silverstone.

Tech3 KTM’s Deniz Öncü trailed the Honda in the closing seconds to claim the runners up spot with Sterilgarda Husqvarna’s John McPhee maintaining his hold on the top three thanks to Friday’s efforts.

The Saturday action got underway with the lightweight class heading out on a cool but clear Silverstone track. McPhee’s 2’10.939 the overall benchmark with Öncü holding the gateway time into Q2 promotion with a 2’12.320.

The Tech3 rider took charge in the early times as the session bedded in, bettering his Friday efforts with a mid-2’11. BOE’s David Munoz and Leopard’s Dennis Foggia running top three in the opening ten minutes with Sterilgarda’s Ayumu Sasaki and McPhee sitting eighth and tenth respectively.

Öncü continued to improve the pace as Foggia challenged for second, Aspar’s Izan Guevara rising to fourth from Scott Ogden with the VisionTrack rider just a fraction adrift of his previous best in the combined times. Teammate Josh Whatley advanced on his FP2 times with his fourth lap of the morning, the 16-year-old having spent the first half of the weekend battling illness but looking to get his head down as Saturday got going.

Sasaki claimed the top spot as the second half counted down, his 2’11.0 enough for second overall to lock out the standings for the Max Racing squad. MTA’s Stefano Nepa and Ivan Ortola the closest rivals as FP3 played out. Foggia the man now at risk from 14th.

The closing 15 minutes saw the pace ignite as Kaito Toba struck for third with Guevara and Ogden circulating together on track and on red sector form. The pair finding fourth and sixth respectively in the session and firmly inside the Q2 positions with ten minutes left to run. Championship leader Sergio Garcia sat in the box and openly frustrated from 24th in the combined times.

The final few minutes saw Garcia head out on his own to attempt to crack the promotion zone. The Spaniard opting not to chase a tow as a gaggle behind him failed to make it out of pitlane in time to set a final flyer. Foggia also adrift of Q2 contention as the chequered flag prepared.

The last push saw Daniel Holgado place the KTM Ajo in second, just 0.027 shy of McPhee’s target time. Suzuki and Öncü claimed the top two in quick succession with Rivacold Snipers’ Andrea Migno fifth and Foggia eighth. The late shuffles found Guevara narrowly through to the Q2 fight from 12th while both Ogden and Garcia missed out in 16th and 18th respectively.

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