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MotoGP Styria: Öncü takes maiden Moto3 pole for Red Bull at home

There was home delight for Red Bull KTM as Tech3’s Deniz Öncü claimed his debut Moto3 pole position at the Spielberg track with a 1’36.453 lap.

Santander GasGas rider Sergio Garcia put on a decisive challenge, provisionally holding the standings before a crash at turn three ended his run. Romano Fenati successfully navigated the Q1 fight to secure the final spot on the front row for Sunday’s StyrianGP.

Dennis Foggia, Gabriel Rodrigo and Tatsuki Suzuki were among the big hitters batting for a pass through to the final pole shoot out as Moto3 qualifying got underway in Austria. Only three riders, however, had set out on track as the session unfolded with the rest of the pack finally hitting the asphalt with seven-minutes to go.


Suzuki rose to the top with a 1’36.528 as the first hot-laps registered, Romano Fenati sitting second with Ryusei Yamanaka and Foggia holding the last promotion places with three-minutes left to run. Adrian Fernandez had his time deleted due to track limits while Rodrigo looked to push from fifth, a task he successfully completed by finding second with his next attempt.

Xavi Artigas claimed the gateway Q2 place as the final flying laps began, the Leopard rider unlucky to be demoted as his teammate Foggia advanced to head the standings.

The final 15-minutes began in a similar way to FP3, with Ayumu Sasaki down on the ground. The Tech3 man picking up his KTM and carrying on as Niccolò Antonelli took charge of the standings. Foggia and Sergio Garcia sat second and third after the opening efforts before Izan Guevara upped the pace.

Disaster struck Antonelli with a highside out of turn 10, the Italian unable to recover his Avintia VR46 machine after losing his P1-worthy lap and currently sitting fourth.

McPhee took fifth as his Petronas team-mate Darryn Binder claimed third before Pedro Acosta arrived, after a steady start to the first half of the session, to take provisional pole.

The time was challenged by Garcia with three-minutes remaining, the rival pair continuing to battle as the clock counted down with the GasGas rider setting another fast time as he circulated alone. Fenati joined the fight, in second, with his sixth lap of the session before Öncü stole the show. Garcia crashing out with an off-throttle highside at turn three on his final effort with the Spaniard looking in obvious pain.

The Turk was unable to defend his position after running wide at turn four, but as the flag came out the challenges faded away. Öncü secured the pole from Garcia and Fenati, with Jeremy Alcoba’s late charge heading the second row. Acosta and Guevara join the Honda rider with Foggia, Jaume Masia and Binder sitting on row three. Rodrigo, Antonelli and McPhee sit 10th to 12th with Ricardo Rossi, Suzuki, Sasaki, Andrea Migno, Stefano Nepa and Filip Salac completing the top-18.

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