Malaysian Moto3: Record pace powers Foggia to Sepang pole

Dennis Foggia took his fourth pole of the year with a late record lap of the Sepang circuit ahead of the Moto3 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Dennis Foggia, Moto3, Malaysian MotoGP, 21 October
Dennis Foggia, Moto3, Malaysian MotoGP, 21 October

Dennis Foggia arrived in qualifying flying high after free practice and kept that momentum going to claim pole position for the Moto3 Malaysian Grand Prix, round nineteen of the championship.

The Leopard man was immediately at the top of the timesheets after riding solo, then spent some time in behind his team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki as the Italain tried a range of methods to get the best from his Honda.

It was his last lap as the chequered flag waved, chasing down Jaume Masia, with the pair gesturing at each other post-session, which brought the new lap record a best of 2m 11.411s.


Newly crowned Moto3 champion Izan Guevara was running in the same group and used it to pull himself up to second from ninth, and briefly held pole with his time, just 0.224s behind the #7.

The Gaviota GasGas rider has cut a relaxed figure in the paddock with the title sewn up, resting in his garage before the session, with paper eyes stuck to his glasses.

The final front row spot went to his team-mate Sergio Garcia, with the top three who have contersted the title all in front for the race.

Fourth was Masia's on the Red Bull KTM Ajo. Daniel Holgado saw diogo Moreira take over in the rookie standings last race, he bounced back to take fifth behind his team-mate at the hot, sticky track.

Andrea Migno was a much improved sixth for Rivacold Snipers. Ayumu Sasaki only did one run, possibly to conserve a tyre choice, so he starts seventh for Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max. Lining up next to him is compatriot Suzuki on the second Leopard entry.

Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) set the ninth best time with David Munoz (BOE Motorsports) completing the top ten.

Fellow rookie Moreira will fill eleventh for MT Helmets, with Stefano Nepa twelfth for Angeluss MTA Team.


What happened in Q1?


The session belonged to Ryusei Yamanaka, who eased through to Q2 with the best time for MT Helmets - MSI, joined by Kaito Toba, Joel Kelso and Taiyo Furusato. The MT Helmets rider went on to 13th, the best of those to progress.

There was a flurry of the recently added ‘conduct warnings’ as riders once again reverted to slowing on track looking for an advantage.

John McPhee, who spoke out in his press release on the brake difficulties that thwarted his opening day on track, ran solo and didn’t duck in for a spell in the pits with the others, leaving the Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max man eight in the session, 18th on the grid.

Deniz Oncu endured a more torrid time. After only just missing out on a Q2 slot the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider was a target in the session, the first to be warned for his on track conduct in frustration as he ran wide trying to lose the pack.

His bike bucked and squirmed underneath him, handing the Turkish rider a near miss, before throwing him off at turn one as he was about to start his final flying lap. A quick remount was made as he held it and did not touch the gravel, but it was not enough, leaving the #53 in 21st.

Joshua Whatley qualified last but his performance was academic as he has a pitlane start penalty for using an extra engine. Scott Ogden was one place better as he struggled with the Sepang track.


Injuries and absentees


With none of the lightweight class riders absent, the grid is instead increased by one, with Syarhuddin Azman handed a wildcard entry on home soil. With four previous races in Moto3 to his credit and providing some much needed track knowledge to the VisionTrack team he placed seventh in Q1 (17th on the grid).

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