Ahead and able to run solo and untroubled by riders looking for a tow it was Masia who again dominated in qualifying to claim pole for round fourteen of the Moto3 championship in Japan.

Jaume Masia arrived in strong form. The Leopard rider ensured that continued in Motegi. The joint championship leader topped P3 ahead of qualifying with a new record lap of the track - a 1m 56.148s best.

After securing pole in India and San Marino, the Honda rider looked an assured bet again, waiting for the space on track by dipping back into the pits and untroubled by Deniz Oncu latching on behind, the Spaniard powered round for a pole time of 1m 56.331s.


Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Oncu did everything he could to use his time behind the joint championship leader but couldn’t get close enough to get a slipstream boost, the Turkish rider was still pulled up to second for his efforts, finishing 0.208s slower.

Third went to Matteo Bertelle, who secured consecutive front row starts for the Rivacold Snipers team, backing up his second in Buddh.

Stefano Nepa chipped away at his time through the session to claim fourth on his last run for the Angeluss MTA Team.

He is joined on row two by teammate Ivan Ortola in fifth with our other title leader Daniel Holgado initially setting the sixth best time.

Penalties ahead for Holgado, Veijer and Kelso


Holgado’s sixth won't stand when the grid forms. The Tech3 rider, along with Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly IntactGP, 7th) and Joel Kelso (CFMoto Racing Pruestel GP, 15th) have all been handed a three place grid penalty for their conduct in previous sessions, riding with their hands off the handlegrips to gain an advantage.

Ayumu Sasaki swapped slipstream lead with his teammate Veijer but it only helped him to eighth for his home grand prix, the highest placed of the Japanese riders.

David Munoz Starts ninth for BOE motorsports while and David Alonso was the best of the rookies, pushing towards the end of the session to earn a top ten start for Gaviota GasGas Aspar.

Kaito Toba had issues in the pit, a figure of frustration as his team worked on the bike when the Japanese rider wanted to latch onto the leading group. He finished Q2 in twelfth for SIC58 Squadra Corse.

Fellow countryman Taiyo Furusato was the best of the riders from Q1 in 14th for Honda Team Asia.

Riccardo Rossi also moved on but suffered a big, early crash at turn nine, ending his hopes of any progress.

What happened in Q1?

In a lacklustre session it had been Rossi, who only ventured out late in the session for one time attack, who finished with the best time.

The SIC58 Squadra Corse rider was joined in progressing by Joel Kelso, Furusato and Jose Antonio Rueda.

Rueda was the only rider making late progress, guaranteeing the fourth place he already held in the session, pushing hard and running into the gravel as the chequered flag came out.

Kelso lead around his CFMoto Racing PruestelGP team-mate Xavier Artigas after he had sat in provisonal pole, but could not help him reach the same speeds, even with a tow. The Spaniard just missed out in fifth.

A crash for Fillippo Farioli hindered his chances, his spill saw his leg bent underneath his body in a strange, dislocated fashion, yet the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider got straight up and chased his bike down. He will start 22nd.

The VisionTrack riders saw their recent progress come to a halt. Scott Ogden was the best of the duo in Q1, earning a 21st place start, while Joshua Whatley lines up last after finishing 1.698s off Rossi’s time.

Injuries and Replacements

Lorenzo Salvador is absent at CIP Green Power, but there is no replacement rider. Romano Fenati is also out injured after picking up injury in India - a fractured foot. He is replaced - by David Almansa (20th), who is getting an early taste of the Rivacold Snipers machinery before joining their Moto3 outfit for the 2024 season.