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Qatar Moto3, Lusail Practice | Daniel Holgado beats the Friday rush… and the rain!

Gold & Goose

Daniel Holgado holds the advantage overnight at the end of the opening day for the first round of the 2024 Moto3 World Championship at the Lusail International Circuit after a Practice 1 session marred by a long red flag and - perhaps most shocking of all - a rainy conclusion!

The Spaniard, who led the 2023 Moto3 standings for the large majority of last season, showed his experience under the floodlights in the closing stages when a red flag with seven minutes remaining led to the typical swarm of jostling in the final moments to secure a draft-assisted quick time.

Sticking with the Tech 3 Racing team for 2024 - but racing under distinctive GasGas branding to mirror the French outfit’s MotoGP squad - Holgado made the most of a rubbered-in circuit and the new sticky Pirelli tyres to pump in a 2m 03.606secs time.


That places him already more than a second faster than his own pole position lap time at the 2023 Qatar Moto3 held just four months ago.

His rapid end to Friday helped Holgado stamp his mark on this year’s proceedings, the youngster - despite his 2023 form - having flown below the radar in most pre-season predictions against anticipated favourites David Alonso, Collin Veijer and Jose Antonio Rueda.

However, all three title tips would suffer big crashes over the course of the day to derail their best hopes at this early stage.

CFMoto Aspar’s Alonso crashed out in the final moments of FP1, but returned to action in P1 to hold a solid seventh overnight. Veijer, however, has work to do after being flung off his Husqvarna IntactGP machine at high-speed around T14, the Dutchman hobbling back to the track later on but falling short of a provisional Top 14 placing he needs to reach Q2 safely, in 16th.

Rueda, meanwhile, looked on course to be the day’s star contender having smashed Holgado’s lap record mid-way through P1. However, having been bumped down the timesheets in the late melee, Rueda had a rude awakening at the final corner after coming up on a sudden - and very unexpected - shower post chequered flag, the Spaniard being sent over the handlebars of his twisting KTM.

Despite the heavy impact, he was still fourth fastest, coming in behind late improvements from Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) and Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers), who gave Honda something to smile about having struggled to rival the new and improved KTM package during pre-season testing.

With nine different teams filling the top nine positions, FP1 pacesetter Ivan Ortola was fifth fastest, ahead of Riccardo Rossi, Alonso, Stefano Nepa and David Munoz. The latter’s BOE team-mate Joel Kelso rounded out the top ten.

It was a tough evening for the MLav Racing duo Scott Ogden and Josh Whatley, however, with the former just missing out on a provisional Q2 spot in 15th, while the latter brought up the rear in 26th.

The result was a particular frustration for Ogden who, having decided to exit the pit-lane following the red flag - due to technical issues at the venue - before his rivals, then came up to a huge group of them touring on the racing line as he began his final lap.

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar Moto3, Lusail | Practice 1 Results

Friday | Conditions - Dry start, Rain in final moments

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar Moto3 Results | Lusail International Circuit, Qatar | Practice 1 Results
Pos.NameNat.TeamChassisLap Time
1Daniel Holgado🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Tech3GasGas2m 03.606
2Adrian Fernandez🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda2m 03.669
3Matteo Bertelle🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda2m 03.775
4Jose Antonio Rueda🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKTM2m 03.778
5Ivan Ortola🇪🇦MT Helmets - MSIKTM2m 03.835
6Riccardo Rossi🇮🇹CIP Green PowerKTM2m 03.862
7David Alonso🇨🇴CFMoto Aspar TeamCFMoto2m 03.990
8Stefano Nepa🇮🇹LevelUp-MTAKTM2m 04.019
9David Munoz🇪🇦BOE MotorsportKTM2m 04.135
10Joel Kelso🇦🇺BOE MotorsportKTM2m 04.282
11Jacob Roulstone🇦🇺Red Bull GasGas Tech3GasGas2m 04.399
12Ryusei Yamanaka🇯🇵MT Helmets - MSIKTM2m 04.417
13Filippo Farioli🇮🇹SIC 58 Squadra CorseHonda2m 04.539
14David Almansa🇪🇦Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda2m 04.848
15Scott Ogden🇬🇧MLav RacingHonda2m 05.162
16Collin Veijer🇳🇱Liqui Moly Husqvarna Inatact GPHusqvarna2m 05.162
17Tatsuki Suzuki🇯🇵Liqui Moly Husqvarna Inatact GPHusqvarna2m 05.215
18Luca Lunetta🇮🇹SIC 58 Squadra CorseHonda2m 05.255
19Taiyo Furusato🇯🇵Honda Team AsiaHonda2m 05.649
20Vicente Perez🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKTM2m 05.788
21Nicola Carraro🇮🇹LevelUp-MTAKTM2m 05.810
22Joel Esteban🇪🇦CFMoto Aspar TeamCFMoto2m 06.254
23Angel Piqueras🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda2m 06.379
24Tatchakorn Busari🇹🇭Honda Team AsiaHonda2m 06.720
25Noah Dettweiler🇨🇭CIP Green PowerKTM2m 06.990
26Joshua Whatley🇬🇧MLav RacingHonda2m 07.220

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