2018 Austin Moto3 Qualifying Result: Bravery vs Timing

Rain fell in preparation of the first qualifying session of the day, leaving behind a damp but drying track and a gaggle of riders on rain tyres. The lightweight class hurried to set some banker laps before the conditions changed again but rather than the rain picking up, it was the riders picking up some tenths lap after lap.

A few brave souls sampled some slicks at the halfway mark of the session and Philipp Oettl made it count by going over two and a half seconds faster than the fastest man on rain tyres. His rivals soon took notice and flooded the pits to grab some slicks, with the exception of Aron Canet who kept missing his pitboard and left himself with little time for the switch – which didn’t really matter in the end.

Oettl was fully dialled in with the conditions by the time the pack got up to speed and even got a chance to do a second run on slicks. While the German rider was waiting in his garage, the usual frontrunners were on a charge. Canet was the first to make it stick at the front and put three tenths into his pursuers although red sectors kept lighting up the timesheets behind him.

The lead changed too many times to count in the final minute of the session but predictably, it was the Qualifying Master, Jorge Martin, to obliterate the field and grab his tenth pole position by nearly half a second. Canet was second best, with John McPhee improving significantly to complete the front row of the grid for Sunday’s race.

Tatsuki Suzuki could have done even better than fourth if his disobedience of track limits didn’t halt him on occasion, the Japanese rider sharing second row with the Italian duo of Fabio Di Giannantonio and Enea Bastianini, both showing good pace throughout the weekend.

Nearly a second down on pole position but Dennis Foggia performed in fine fashion to stick his bike in seventh position, ahead of Ayumu Sasaki and Marco Bezzecchi, another track limits enthusiast. Heading the fourth row is Jaume Masia, while Oettl’s gamble didn’t pay off as much as he might have expected, eventually dropping him to eleventh grid position, narrowly ahead of Gabriel Rodrigo.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 88 Jorge MARTIN Honda 2'18.629    
2 44 Aron CANET Honda 2'19.125 0.496 0.496
3 17 John MCPHEE KTM 2'19.421 0.792 0.296
4 24 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 2'19.428 0.799 0.007
5 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda 2'19.497 0.868 0.069
6 33 Enea BASTIANINI Honda 2'19.577 0.948 0.080
7 10 Dennis FOGGIA KTM 2'19.588 0.959 0.011
8 71 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 2'19.640 1.011 0.052
9 12 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 2'19.684 1.055 0.044
10 5 Jaume MASIA KTM 2'19.808 1.179 0.124
11 65 Philipp OETTL KTM 2'19.816 1.187 0.008
12 19 Gabriel RODRIGO KTM 2'19.850 1.221 0.034
13 41 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT Honda 2'19.970 1.341 0.120
14 42 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM 2'20.002 1.373 0.032
15 40 Darryn BINDER KTM 2'20.027 1.398 0.025
16 16 Andrea MIGNO KTM 2'20.257 1.628 0.230
17 48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda 2'20.323 1.694 0.066
18 76 Makar YURCHENKO KTM 2'20.366 1.737 0.043
19 23 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 2'20.380 1.751 0.014
20 14 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 2'20.485 1.856 0.105
21 84 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM 2'20.824 2.195 0.339
22 72 Alonso LOPEZ Honda 2'20.917 2.288 0.093
23 8 Nicolo BULEGA KTM 2'20.965 2.336 0.048
24 75 Albert ARENAS KTM 2'21.021 2.392 0.056
25 7 Adam NORRODIN Honda 2'21.167 2.538 0.146
26 11 Livio LOI KTM 2'21.279 2.650 0.112
27 22 Kazuki MASAKI KTM 2'22.820 4.191 1.541
28 27 Kaito TOBA Honda 2'23.083 4.454 0.263
Round Number: 
3
2018
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Comments

Tell me again why he's not banned from this race for being a very, very naughty boy?

Nice work McPhee!