Malaysian Moto3: Lap record sees Masia blast away opposition for pole

Jaume Masia set a new lap record that left him almost a second clear of the rest of the lightweight class in qualifying for the Malaysian Moto3 Grand Prix.
Jaume Masia, Moto3, Malaysian MotoGP, 11 November
Jaume Masia, Moto3, Malaysian MotoGP, 11 November


The humid, greasy conditions that greeted round eighteen as the paddock arrived in Malaysia to begin the run in to the end of the season did nothing to slow Masia, who stamped his authority down in Sepang with a new lap record in Moto3 qualifying.

A new best of 2m 10.846s came as the Leopard Honda rider earned an early slipstream before finding solo track space to nurture his progress.

Hitting the main group on track provided him with one final, huge tow over the line to be 0.906s clear of his nearest rival, finishing the session in the pits confident his time would not be bested.


The person to get closest was top rookie Collin Veijer, who motored on after getting to grips with the conditions in Q1 for Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP.

The front row was completed by Matteo Bertelle, close on times with his Dutch rival, the Rivacold Snipers rider was third, but only just.

Ivan Ortola briefly topped the timesheets with the lap that sees him start fourth on Sunday for the Angeluss Team.

Ayumu Sasaki worked with teammate Veijer on his promotion from Q1, that saw him claim fifth to be Masia’s nearest rival in the championship and on the grid.

Jose Antonio Rudea moved through Q1 for sixth for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Joel Kelso’s late run moved his CFMoto Pruestel bike into seventh late on, ahead of David Munoz for BOE Motorsports.

Oncu frustrated in ninth

Deniz Oncu had showed great pace as he finished P3 second after running solo.

Come qualifying he cut an increasingly frustrated figure as he seemed to not feel he got the best of working with fellow Red Bull rider Rueda. The rookie, like Veijer, had gained valuable information on grip in Q1 and when in behind the Turkish rider on a fast lap it ensured he did not follow him wide behind, leading Rueda to the then early top time.

On his turn behind Oncu was quick onto the back wheel, leaving him unable to get the most from the slipstream. He spent much of the close of the session shaking his fists and his head in frustration.

Diogo Moreira completed the top ten after some smart work to make time up in the group for MT Helmets - MSI.

Romano Fenati secured eleventh on his return with the Snipers team, just ahead of Ryusei Yamanaka on the timesheets for Aspar.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Daniel Holgado fired himself into Q2 with a new lap record in the morning practice session but could not get close to his own time, only 15th as his record was quickly surpassed by Masia.

What happened in Q1?  

Solo running was the order of the day in the first session, seeing Veijer ease on with the top time. He was joined by Rueda, who made the same tactic work on the Red Bull, Xavier Artigas (13th) and Vincente Perez.

Thailand podium finishers fail to get out of Q1

All of the podium finishers from the last race in Thailand found themselves in the first qualifying session. Veijer made a quick exit but the fate of the other rostrum visitors was not as positive.

Rookie David Alonso, currently third in the championship suffered a huge late fall at turn three, brining out the yellow flags, ending his own chances of moving on and cancelling all the remaining flying laps in the process. He was seventh at the end of the session, so starts 21st.

Taiyo Furusato couldn’t get in the Sepang groove either, the Honda Team Asia rider was sixth behind Mario Aji who just missed out, to line up 20th.

Scott Ogden was back to being top VisionTrack rider after missing out in practice. He starts 22nd with teammate Joshua Whatley 27th after an early return to his garage.

Syarifuddin Azman starts his home race in 28th for MTHelmets - MSI.

Injuries and replacements

Perez (17th) is the only remaining replacement as he continued to fill in for long term absentee Ana Carrasco at BOE Motorsports.

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