Australian Moto3: Peerless Sasaki eases to pole with record lap

Qualifying belonged to a dominant Ayumu Sasaki, while Izan Guevara starts his first title winning opportunity from seventh ahead of the Moto3 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Ayumu Sasaki, Moto3, Australian MotoGP, 15 October
Ayumu Sasaki, Moto3, Australian MotoGP, 15 October


Ayumu Sasaki needed just one run of three laps to seal pole position ahead of the Moto3 Australian Grand Prix, round eighteen of the championship.

After topping FP3 earlier in the day the Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max rider was fast solo on his out lap, but after passing Adrian Fernandez as economically as possible, the Japanese rider found compatriot Kaito Toba ahead and used his new marker to post a new lap record.

That new best of 1m 35.854s was at the time a second ahead of the rest of the riders in the session.

Sergio Garcia was the rider who did the best job of reducing the deficit. The GasGas rider was back to running his own race and session and llooked looser and calmer on the Gaviota bike as he came to within 0.157s of Sasaki on his best run.

Rookie Ivan Ortola had champion elect Izan Guevara for company as he tried to start as high as possible to help his chances of staying trouble free and taking the crown. Using the GasGas man for a tow, he found his way to the final front row slot for the Angeluss MTA Team, his best qualifying performance to date.

Carlos Tatay came through Q1 to be the rabbit that Guevara was chasing down on that final run. The CFMoto PruestelGP rider was faster in fourth.

Diogo Moreira showed pace around Phillip Island from the off despite his lack of track experience after topping FP1. He kept that momentum going to take fifth on the grid. The final second row slot went to Stefano Nepa on the second Angeluss entry, completing a strong day for the team.


Izan Guevara takes first title shot from seventh.


Izan Guevara can seal the championship this weekend with a win (that is the most straightforward way to the crown, other permeations can also see him crowned the 2022 winner).

His first matchpoint will come from seventh on the grid as he lost out slightly in the group he was circulating on track with on the second GasGas entry.

Dennis Oncu looked closer to full fitness after riding injured at the last round, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider lines up eighth.

Jaume Masia had a on track battle with David Munoz as the pair wanted the same piece of track. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider went on to pull out the better lap, with Masia starting ninth while the BOE Motorsports rider is eleventh.

They are split on the grid by Taiyo Furusato. The Honda Team Asia rider topped the first qualifying session, parking his bike, confident he had done enough at the beginning of Q1, and just made it through in fourth. He went on to set a time good enough to complete the top ten.

Dennis Foggia was the lowest qualifier of the title hopefuls. The Leopard man will fill twelfth on the grid - his best was over a second shy of the pole lap.

It is not just MotoGP that has home talent to watch for this weekend - Joel Kelso will be hoping for a strong showing on home soil. He starts from 14th for CIP Green Power.

Adrian Fernandez has been penalised ahead of the race - he must serve a double long lap penalty for his part in Sergio Garcia’s  crash at the last round. The Tech 3 rider is in 15th.
John McPhee came through Q1 with the top time with a well-timed lap after sitting in last for most of that session, but his progress halted once Q2 started, finishing 16th on the second Max Racing bike as his team-mate sits at the head of the grid.

Tatsuki Suzuki arguably had the worst luck of the session, leaving it late to set a time while everyone else got a banker under their belt, the Leopard man was the only Q2 faller, leaving him 18th without a full flying lap time after heading into the gravel on his out lap.

What happened in Q1?


Scott Ogden was on  the cusp of qualifying but just missed out. The VisionTrack rider was pushed back to fifth in the session for 19th on the grid. Team-mate Joshua Whatley is 29th.

Andrea Migno cut a frustrated figure, his spill in the first  part of qualifying prevented the Rivacold Snipers rider from moving in. He starts 23rd.

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