Valresa GasGas Aspar’s newly crowned champion Izan Guevara continued to control Moto3 action with the final pole of 2022 at Valencia.
A heated session saw less than two-tenths cover the top three riders as Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü and Aspar teammate Sergio Garcia completed the front row. The latter’s rivals for the runner-up spot, Ayumu Sasaki and Dennis Foggia, starting fifth and seventh respectively.
Adrian Fernandez kicked off qualifying in the gravel as the Tech3 KTM crashed out at turn 11, with cold tyres still causing issues in the cool November sun. Aspar wildcard Filippo Farioli suffering a similar fate at turn two seconds later.
Sterilgarda Husqvarna’s Sasaki pulled straight back into the pits after claiming second on his opening flyer. Nicola Fabio Carraro setting the outright 1’39.268 pace on the QJ Avintia with CIP Green Power’s Joel Kelso and KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia holding the final promotion places.
Back on track and instantly setting red sectors, Sasaki rose to P1 with a 1’38.857. BOE’s David Muñoz following suit for second, three tenths adrift. Farioli likewise back in action and circulating sixth from the second Avintia of Elia Bartolini, BOE wildcard David Almansa and Sic58s’ Lorenzo Fellon while Rivacold Snipers’ Andrea Migno continued his late season struggles from tenth.
A final effort from Masia promoted the Red Bull to second as Kelso dropped out of contention as the chequered flag fell. The Spaniard set to start Sunday’s finale from pitlane after a trackside fight with CIP’s Kaito Toba, the pair also facing a long lap penalty and €1000 fine for the altercation.
Tatsuki Suzuki led the way in Q2 with a 1’38.875 on the Leopard Honda. Sasaki crashing out as he prepared for his first flying lap with countryman and FP3 front man Ryusei Yamanaka second.
Just one and a half tenths covered the top six after the opening efforts. New champion Guevara ran third from Öncü with John McPhee continuing his late-season form from fifth while Garcia looked to secure an Aspar one-two in the title fight from sixth.
The number 11 fired up for the final runs with a solo effort and six minutes on the clock before KTM’s Daniel Holgado joined him on track. Garcia looking to challenge for provisional pole until his efforts were derailed halfway round due to a highside scare at turn eight.
Second time lucky found the Spaniard in charge thanks to a 1’38.654. The remainder of the pack rolling out for their last efforts with Öncü, then Guevara taking their turns in pole position. 1’38.479 the new time to beat from the world champion at his local track.
With the leading trio unchallenged, MT Helmets’ Diogo Moreira headed the second row, two tenths back in fourth, with Sasaki and MTA’s Ivan Ortola denying Foggia in the dying seconds. The Leopard duo settled for seventh and eighth ahead of FP3 hero Yamanaka as McPhee completed the top ten.