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Australian Moto3, Qualifying | Sasaki beats local hope Kelso to Phillip Island pole

Gold and Goose
Ayumu Sasaki, Collin Veijer, Husqvarna Intact GP, 2023 Moto3, Australian Moto3, Phillip Island, action [Gold & Goose]

Ayumu Sasaki gave his title aspirations in the 2023 Moto3 World Championship a welcome boost as he secured pole position for the Australian Moto3, while local hero Joel Kelso got the fans cheering with his run to the front row at Phillip Island.

The Japanese rider, who comes into this event chasing a deficit of 16-points to Jaume Masia after a disastrous race day in Indonesia last weekend, landed a timely fifth pole position of the season as he heads into Sunday’s encounter looking to now collect a much desired first win of the year.

By contrast, championship leader Masia and Daniel Holgado - only one point further adrift of Sasaki in third overall - face more of an uphill task come race day from 13th and 11th on the grid respectively.


For Sasaki, pole position will be a welcome return to form after the combination of a sighting lap crash and technical issues left him down and out of the points in Mandalika last weekend. 

Even so, he broke some hearts in doing so, Sasaki’s 1m 36.539secs proving enough to hold off Joel Kelso on the sister CFMoto PruestelGP machine, the Australian coming good on his return to home soil to end up just over a tenth adrift of a popular pole position.

Stefano Nepa’s ongoing quest for a maiden Moto3 podium finish was helped along by the Italian securing a spot on the outside of the front row in third place, just ahead of Indonesian Moto3 race winner Diogo Moreira and another Italian in Matteo Bertelle on the best of the Honda contingent in fifth.

Collin Veijer consolidated Husqvarna Intact GP’s positive day in sixth, ahead of Deniz Oncu and David Alonso, the latter Colombian also still in contention for this year’s title, 29 points off leader Masia.

Substitute riders Adrian Fernandez - who has replaced Leopard’s departee Tatsuki Suzuki - and Vicente Perez, in for the injured Ana Carrasco at BOE Motorsports, completed the top ten ahead of their more seasoned compatriots Holgado in 11th, Ivan Ortola 12th and Masia 13th.

Further back, a chastening day for the VisionTrack Racing team sees only Josh Whatley still competing, the young Briton getting underway from 27th on Sunday.

2023 Australian Moto3 | Phillip Island Circuit | Qualifying Results | Round 16 of 20
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Ayumu Sasaki🇯🇵Husqvarna IntactGPHusqvarna1m 36.539
2Joel Kelso🇦🇺CFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto1m 36.675
3Stefano Nepa🇮🇹Angeluss MTA TeamKTM1m 36.755
4Diogo Moreira🇧🇷MT Helmets - MSIKTM1m 36.860
5Matteo Bertelle🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda1m 36.978
6Collin Veijer🇳🇱Husqvarna IntactGPHusqvarna1m 37.008
7Deniz Oncu🇹🇷Red Bull KTM AjoKTM1m 37.030
8David Alonso🇨🇴GASGAS Aspar M3GasGas1m 37.146
9Adrian Fernandez🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda1m 37.286
10Vicente Perez🇪🇦BOE MotorsportsKTM1m 37.293
11Daniel Holgado🇪🇦Red Bull KTM Tech3KTM1m 37.303
12Ivan Ortola🇪🇦Angeluss MTA TeamKTM1m 37.378
13Jaume Masia🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda1m 37.399
14Kaito Toba🇯🇵SIC58 Squadra CorseHonda1m 37.465
15David Munoz🇪🇦BOE MotorsportsKTM1m 37.513
16Filippo Farioli🇮🇹Red Bull KTM Tech3KTM1m 37.519
17Ryusei Yamanaka🇯🇵GASGAS Aspar M3GasGas1m 37.661
18Riccardo Rossi🇮🇹SIC58 Squadra CorseHonda1m 38.002
19Syarifuddin Azman🇲🇾MT Helmets - MSIKTM1m 37.779
20Jose Antonio Rueda🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKTM1m 37.814
21Taiyo Furusato🇯🇵Honda Team AsiaHonda1m 37.858
22David Salvador🇪🇦CIP Green PowerCFMoto1m 37.888
23Nicola Fabio Carraro🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda1m 38.088
24Mario Suryo Aji🇮🇩Honda Team AsiaHonda1m 38.098
25Lorenzo Fellon🇫🇷CIP Green PowerKTM1m 38.124
26Joshua Whatley🇬🇧VisionTrack RacingHonda1m 38.224
27Xavier Artigas🇪🇦CFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto1m 38.497
WScott Ogden🇬🇧VisionTrack RacingHonda

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