Santander GasGas rider Izan Guevara claimed the fastest Moto3 time at Spielberg on Saturday as he topped the morning’s FP3 ahead of AustrianGP qualifying.
Tech3 KTM’s Deniz Öncü completed the early practice just 0.066s from the Spaniard’s 1’35.838 time, with Sergio Garcia completing the top-three from the GasGas team. John McPhee secured his place into the afternoon shootout in fifth overall, two-tenths adrift of the leading lap.
An overnight decision by the stewards saw Garcia disqualified from FP2’s classification, as Saturday’s lightweight action kicked off at the Styria track. Gabriel Rodrigo and Ryusei Yamanaka coming together at turn three almost as soon as the session began.
Ayumu Sasaki took charge of the standings, ahead of Friday’s fastest rider, Darryn Binder, with a 1’36.849, already just six-tenths away from the overall best after just three laps on track. Binder, however, was quick to retake the position with a 1’36.6 before the Petronas rider himself fell foul of turn four on his sixth lap.
An on track melee saw Elia Bartolini sit up as Sasaki made a late decision to head into pitlane, Filip Salac getting caught by the slowing Avintia VR46 rider with frustrations clear to see.
It was KTM at the top on their home track at the halfway stage as Öncü and Pedro Acosta headed the standings, and taking first and third respectively overall. Fellow Tech3 rider Sasaki suffered opposing fortunes after crashing out in dramatic style at turn one, clipping the curb and spinning across the centre of the track. The oncoming group lucky to miss both bike and rider.
Improvements for the GasGas pair allowed Garcia to slide into second, Guevara fourth with Jaume Masia in fifth as the session continued. Tatsuki Suzuki headed the second half of the top-10 from Stefano Nepa, Binder, Salac and Denis Foggia with McPhee joining his teammate in ninth moments later.
Chaotic final laps saw the usual on track confusion as the pack tripped each other up in the closing minutes. The stewards undoubtedly warming up for a raft of penalties.
Guevara headed the times with a 1’35.838 from Öncü, Garcia and Romano Fenati with Acosta, Masia and Suzuki behind in the session. Binder was still sitting pretty in fifth thanks to his Friday time, Nepa doing similar in seventh with two minutes left to run.
A late effort from McPhee put him in contention alongside his teammate, sixth in the session and seventh overall, as Jeremy Alcoba bettered them both, for fifth.
Final flying laps brought hot efforts from Öncü, Garcia and Rodrigo as the trio claimed second to fourth, McPhee doing likewise for fifth as Foggia and Fenati completed the top-seven. There was a further shuffle after the flag, however, as multiple laps were deleted due to track limit infringements. Alcoba returning to sixth as Foggia and Fenati were demoted a position each, Sasaki and Masia competing the top-10. Salac, Suzuki, Acosta and Andrea Migno rounded out the top-14 in FP3 with Binder claiming his Q2 place due to yesterday’s time at the expense of the Rivacold Snipers rider.