Indonesian Moto3: Moreira masters timing for pole position

Diogo Moreira set a well timed lap as yellow flags halted late progress in Moto3 qualifying in Indonesia, handing him his first pole of the season.
Diogo Moreira, IndonesianGP, qualifying 2023, pole position
Diogo Moreira, IndonesianGP, qualifying 2023, pole position

The resurfaced track at Lombok meant that lap times tumbled on day one, and Moreira had been the first to show his pace in P1 with Deniz Oncu finishing Friday as the new lap record holder. That was short lived, with Jaume Masia laying claim to the record in P3 with the first sub 1m 34s run.

Those times were not bettered as heat and wind came into play - but Moreira returned to the form that saw him top the first tricky session on a dirty track. the #10 used his time out on the circuit wisely. First to top the timesheets early in the session, his next run shortly after remained on top to be the pole time - a 1m 39.085s best.

A late crash for Scott Ogden - a heavy highside at turn four - saw the yellow flags out for an extended time, eating away the remaining minutes.

That left the MT Helmets - MSI rider able to pick up his first pole of the season on his KTM - his last came at Silverstone last year.

The Brazilian is joined on the front row by championship leader Masia and rookie David Alonso.


Leopard’s Masia arrived on form after his pole to victory performance in Japan saw him pickup two consecutive wins and three pole in a row. His Friday got off to a shaky start - one of many crashers on the dusty, underused Pertamina Mandalika circuit .

He finished P3 with the new lap record and his speed meant he was followed by much of the qualifying session, with Matteo Bertelle and Taiyo Furusato constantly in his presence.

Despite this, the #5 found enough clear track to finish just 0.040s behind on his final clean run for second aboard his Honda.

Alonso, who has clawed his way into the title hunt with his recent run of form, powered his GasGas Aspar into third before the half way pit break and held the position for his first front row start at a circuit which is brand new to him in his debut year.

Collin Veijer came though Q1 and made the most of a second run. His last lap, before the yellow flags came out, promoted him to fourth for Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP.

Deniz Oncu worked away, a rare quiet session for the Turkish rider, to move up to fifth for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Taiyo Furusato built on his Q1 time to slide into sixth for Honda Team Asia.

Former title race leader Danile Holgado remained just slightly off the lead pace, reflected in his seventh on the grid for Red Bull KTM Tech3.

Sitting behind Masia landed Bertelle the eighth best time for Rivacold Snipers, just ahead of Stefano Nepa, who needs to make the most of his ninth place on the grid for the Angeluss MTA Team with a long lap penalty to serve in the race for crashing under waved yelloe flags in practice.

David Munoz showed enough pace to complete the top ten for BOE Motorsports. Championship challenger Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) had his last lap cancelled as the chequered flag came out, leaving him able to place no higher than eleventh, so benefitting from the lack of progress in the final moments as he held position.

VisionTrack see both bikes in Q2 for first time

With Scott Ogden already safely through, for the first time Michael Laverty’s VisionTrack Team saw both riders take part in Q2 after Joshua Whatley saw his late push in Q1 land him a progression place.

Ogden’s late crash left him 17th while Whatley, who has made big steps after the summer break, placed 18th.

What happened in Q1?

Taiyo Furusato’s last lap saw him post the best time. The Honda Team Asia rider was joined in Q2 by Veijer, Adrian Fernandez (14th) and Whatley.

Whatley’s late improvement denied Ryusei Yamanaka, The Gaviota GasGas Aspar rider was the best of the rest , so starts race day 19th.

Indonesian rider Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia) sat in the top four for much of the session but finished seventh , for 21st on the grid.

Kaito Toba arrived on a good run of form with four consecutive top eight finishes for SIC58 Squadra Corse. The odds are against the Japanese rider making it five after finishing Q1 off the pace in eighth, for 22nd on the grid.

Injuries and Replacements

Tatsuki Suzuki is out for the rest of the season at Leopard, he is replaced by Adrian Fernandez, who takes the ride full-time in 2024.

Romano Fenati remains sidelined, as is his last replacement David Almansa, so Nicola Carraro (23rd), a faller in Q1,comes in for his fellow countryman at Snipers for this round.

David Salvador is also still out of action, Swiss rider Noah Dettwiller (29th) is his stand-in at CIP Green Power in Indonesia.

There is a further addition to the grid with Arbi Aditama as a wildcard entry at home with Honda Team Asia.His local knowledge paid off, securing a Q2 spot directly with a 14th place finish in P3, demoting Kaito Toba from the position. The Indonesian rider went on to place 15th on his debut.

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