Jaume Masia secured his first pole position of the 2023 Moto3 World Championship season at Circuit of The Americas after being rewarded for not waiting around to set his best time.
With the COTA venue proving one of the longest and most technical circuits on the calendar, this weekend’s Moto3 class has seen a rash of crashes, prompting several deleted lap times due to yellow flags.
As such, Masia didn’t hang about in attempting his time attack, the 2022 race winner hitting the front on his first attempt with a weekend best of 2m 16.250secs. It would prove good enough for the Leopard Racing rider to hold firm at the head of the timesheets.
He resisted efforts by practice pace setter Ayumu Sasaki, who too adopted went for an unusual qualifying strategy by doing multiple laps on his own during a single run. With his first two laps cancelled due to yellow flags, it was third time lucky for the IntactGP Husqvarna rider as he slotted into second place, just over a tenth behind Masia.
Ivan Ortola completed the front row, ahead of the top two in the overall standings, Diogo Moreira and Daniel Holgado, the latter fortunate to cling onto fifth after missing the final few minutes following a crash mid-way through the session.
Indeed, crashes and yellow flags played their part in scuppering the peloton of riders circulating together for a final time attack, though one of the big winners was Q1 qualifier Ryusei Yamanaka, who took seventh, just behind Stefano Nepa.
Matteo Bertelle starts eighth, ahead of Xavier Artigas in ninth - the CFMoto rider also recovering from Q1 - and Tatsuki Suzuki completing the top ten.
Elsewhere, Deniz Oncu starts down in 14th after a late fall, while there was frustration for David Munoz, who suffered a nasty high-side at Turn 11 early in the session. Though clearly in discomfort when he returned to the pits, he got back on track and was soldiering through a late flyer that could have placed him on the front row, only to be caught out by yellow flags.
Having not set a time prior to that, Munoz will therefore start down in 16th.
Of the Brits, Scott Ogden couldn’t progress out if Q1, the Argentina top five finisher 23rd, while hiis VisionTrack Honda team-mate Joshua Whatley is 28th on the grid.
Moto3 Qualifying Results - Grand Prix of The Americas | COTA
|Grand Prix of the Americas, USA Moto3 | Qualifying Results | Circuit of The Americas | Round 3 / 21|
|1||Jaume Masia||ESP||Leopard Racing||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 16.250|
|2||Ayumu Sasaki||JPN||Husqvarna Intact GP||Husqvarna||FR250GP||2m 16.351|
|3||Ivan Ortola||ESP||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 16.556|
|4||Diogo Moreira||BRZ||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 16.866|
|5||Daniel Holgado||ESP||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 16.912|
|6||Stefano Nepa||ITA||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 17.016|
|7||Ryusei Yamanaka||JPN||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||GasGas||RC250 GP||2m 17.330|
|8||Matteo Bertelle||ITA||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 17.348|
|9||Xavier Artigas||ESP||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||Moto3||2m 17.372|
|10||Tatsuki Suzuki||JPN||Leopard Racing||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 17.407|
|11||Jose Antonio Rueda||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 17.683|
|12||David Salvador||ESP||CIP Green Power||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 17.708|
|13||Romano Fenati||ITA||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 17.752|
|14||Deniz Oncu||TUR||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 17.998|
|15||Kaito Toba||JPN||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 18.001|
|16||Syarifuddin Azman||MAL||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM||RC250 GP||No Time|
|17||Riccardo Rossi||ITA||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||NSF250 RW||No Time|
|18||David Munoz||ESP||BOE Motorsports||KTM||RC250 GP||No Time|
|19||Taylo Furusato||JPN||Honda Team Asia||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 17.946|
|20||Filippo Farioli||ITA||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 18.065|
|21||Colin Veijer||NED||Husqvarna Intact GP||Husqvarna||FR250GP||2m 18.129|
|22||David Alonso||COL||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||GasGas||RC250 GP||2m 18.178|
|23||Scott Ogden||GBR||VisionTrack Racing Team||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 18.181|
|24||Andrea Migno||ITA||CIP Green Power||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 18.257|
|25||Mario Suryo Aji||INA||Honda Team Asia||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 18.363|
|26||Ana Carrasco||ESP||BOE Motorsports||KTM||RC250 GP||2m 18.667|
|27||Joshua Whatley||GBR||VisionTrack Racing Team||Honda||NSF250 RW||2m 19.710|
|28||David Almansa||ESP||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||Moto3||No Time|