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MotoGP Argentina: Foggia leads Moto3 as track action finally ignites

Leopard’s Dennis Foggia led the Moto3 times as chaos and confusion finally gave way to the roar of engines in Argentina with Grand Prix action kicking off later than planned on Saturday.

An early start for the MotoGP paddock saw teams across all classes unloading and completing their usual Wednesday set up at 4am on Saturday morning as the remaining freight finally arrived at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit. Gresini Racing and Mooney VR46 Ducati the hardest hit of the premier class competitors with the entirety of their pit infrastructure and bikes in the final shipment.

With even Dunlop opening its doors at 02:30 to aid the junior class preparations, Moto3 successfully took to the track at 08:15 local time (12:15 BST) for the first of the extended free practice sessions. Leopard Racing and Red Bull KTM Ajo the two teams majorly impacted by the delays as their garages sat empty until the early hours. Despite that, all four of the front-running riders rolled down pitlane as the green light illuminated for the opening session. 50 minutes on an incredibly dusty, and to most unknown track ahead of them.


KTM’s Jaume Masia led the way in the times with a 1’50.594 as the action fired up, Tech3’s Deniz Öncü following suit with the solo Sterilgarda of Ayumu Sasaki - due to John McPhee’s continued absence as he recovers from a fractured vertebrae - completing the initial top three, just over half a second behind.

Leopard’s Dennis Foggia joined the fight at the halfway stage, sliding into third as he too set a 1’50 lap. Vision Track’s Scott Ogden and John Whatley learning the 4.8km layout from 20th and 24th respectively as the pair ran high 1’58 pace just two-tenths adrift of each other.

The final 20 minutes saw Foggia take the lead from MT Helmets’ rookie Diogo Moreira. The Brazilian enjoying his closest weekend to home, despite the amended schedule as Izan Guevara staked his claim on the top five. Improvements for Ogden saw the Brit up to 15th thanks to a 1’15.860, ahead of Kaito Toba and Andrea Migno with a quarter of an hour left to run.

The closing ten minutes saw the track fall quite as the pack returned to the pitlane, Tatsuki Suzuki the sole rider circulating as the Leopard struck for fourth before the hunt for hot-laps began.

KTM’s Daniel Holgado and Toba were the first to strike as the flying laps registered. Guevara and Moreira demoting the pair shortly after with 1’49.373 the new time to beat as Ogden claimed his place in the top ten.

Foggia once again took charge on the less than optimal track surface before pushing for more next time around. The Italian just lost out in the final sector as the chequered flag came out, his previous 1’49.268 maintaining unbeaten as the session drew to a close.

Guevara, Moreira, Toba and Holgado competed the top five ahead of the second Leopard of Suzuki with Ogden ending his first taste of the Argentinian circuit 13th overall, 1.1seconds adrift.

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