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Moto2 USA | Salac pips Baltus amid big gains in Q2 battle

Filip Salac topped the timesheets in the third and final Practice session for the 2023 Moto2 Grand Prix of The Americas at COTA as a number of fancied runners were prevented from going straight through to Q2.

With damp patches preventing riders in the preceding Moto3 P3 session from improving on their Friday benchmarks, it initially appeared tough-and-go as to whether the order that stood after P2 would stand to the end of P3.

However, after a nervy first few minutes, lap times soon came down to challenge Pedro Acosta for the top spot with Tony Arbolino and then Barry Baltus - enjoying the strongest start to a Moto2 event in his career - getting turns at the top of the order.


In the end though it took a late effort by QJmotor Gresini's Salac to shake out on top with a 2m 09.385s lap, the Czech rider consolidating his strong start to the season as he chases a second pole position of the season.

On the circuit where he achieved a career best ninth in 2022, Fieten Olie Racing GP rider Baltus looks on course to challenge that this weekend, the Belgian an outside bet for pole after going second.

The top two in the championship standings, Arbolino and Acosta made it into Q2 comfortably, as did Celestino Vietti, the Fantic rider one of a small handful to overturn difficult Fridays by making big enough improvements to snatch one of the 14 Q2 spots.

This included Manuel Gonzalez too, who jumped from 17th to sixth place, ahead of top Briton Sam Lowes, the Marc VDS rider lucky to set his time before taking a slow tumble at Turn 13.

Joe Roberts flew the home flag in eighth, ahead of Jeremy Alcoba and Aron Canet, the Spaniard lucky to escape through after missing part of the session with technical issues.

Jake Dixon ended the session 11th, from Albert Arenas - the highest-placed rider not to improve on P2 - Dennis Foggia and Ai Ogura, the 2022 Moto2 runner-up rider, who is still recovering from injury, showing his first burst of pace this season to squeeze into Q2, albeit at the expense of his Honda Idemitsu team-mate Somkiat Chantra.

Chantra was one of four riders to pay the price for crashes that cost them a direct Q2 passage, the Thai rider coming down at Turn 8, while Darryn Binder's Turn 2 fall late on also stopped his progress.

However, it was the SpeedUp team that courted the lion's share of the bad luck during the session with both Fermin Aldeguer and Alonso Lopez crashing moments apart separately at the same corner.

Aldeguer suffered most, his high-side out of Turn 1 causing him to clatter down hard on his Boscoscuro. Though he managed to push away to avoid a bigger smash into the barrier, he was taken to the medical centre for checks.


Lopez - the pole sitter in Argentina - meanwhile, came down further round the corner and wouldn't get back out on track before the flag.

Elsewhere, Rory Skinner ended his session in 25th after a minor improvement, just over a second shy of a Q2 spot.

Moto3 Results after P3 - Grand Prix of The Americas | COTA

Grand Prix of the Americas, USA Moto2 | P1 + P2 + P3 Combined Results | Circuit of The Americas | Round 3 / 21 
1Filip SalacCZEQJmotor GresiniKalex2m 09.385
2Barry BaltusBELFieten Olie Racing GPKalex2m 09.539
3Tony ArbolinoITAElf Marc VDS RacingKalex2m 09.736
4Pedro AcostaESPRed Bull KTM AjoKalex2m 09.751
5Celestino ViettiITAFantic RacingKalex2m 09.825
6Manuel GonzalezESPYamaha VR46 Master CampKalex2m 09.931
7Sam LowesGBRElf Marc VDS RacingKalex2m 10.010
8Joe RobertsUSAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex2m 10.013
9Jeremy AlcobaESPQJmotor GresiniKalex2m 10.057
10Aron CanetESPPons Wegow Los40Kalex2m 10.093
11Jake DixonGBRGasGas Aspar TeamKalex2m 10.122
12Albert ArenasESPRed Bull KTM AjoKalex2m 10.362
13Dennis FoggiaITAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex2m 10.365
14Ai OguraJPNIdemitsu Honda Team AsiaKalex2m 10.486
15Bo BendsneyderNEDPertamina Mandalika SAGKalex2m 10.490
16Somkiat ChantraTHAIdemitsu Honda Team AsiaKalex2m 10.502
17Darryn BinderRSAHusqvarna Intact GPKalex2m 10.654
18Alonso LopezESPSpeed Up RacingBoscoscuro2m 10.769
19Fermin AldeguarESPSpeed Up RacingBoscoscuro2m 10.686
20Lorenzo Dalla PortaITAPertamina Mandalika SAGKalex2m 10.690
21Sergio GarciaESPPons Wegow Los40Kalex2m 11.036
22Lukas TulovicGERHusqvarna Intact GPKalex2m 11.191
23Zonta vd GoorberghNEDFieten Olie Racing GPKalex2m 11.486
24Marcos RamirezESPForward TeamForward2m 11.533
25Rory SkinnerGBRAmerican RacingKalex2m 11.599
26Sean Dylan KellyUSAAmerican RacingKalex2m 12.145
27Borja GomezESPFantic RacingKalex2m 12.224
28Izan GuevaraESPGasGas Aspar TeamKalex2m 12.500
29David SanchisESPForward TeamForward2m 13.231
30Soichiro MinamimotoJPNYamaha VR46 Master CampKalex2m 14.824

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