Qatar Moto3: Pole for Holgado, Sasaki ahead on the grid in title fight

Daniel Holgado claimed his first pole of the year under the floodlights as the title fighters lined up behind in qualifying for the Moto3 Qatar Grand Prix at Lusail.
Daniel Holgado, Moto3, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November
Daniel Holgado, Moto3, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November


Holgado looked to end his season on a high with a strong performance seeing him on top at the chequered flag as Moto3 began it’s penultimate round on track in Qatar.

His best of 2m 04.742s came circulating with teammate Filippo Farioli and Diogo Moreira and was a reminder of his early days in the championship where he lead the way in the first three rounds.

It is the first pole of the season for both Holgado and the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team.

Daniel Holgado, Diogo Moreira, Deniz Oncu, Moto3, Qatar MotoGP, 18 November
Daniel Holgado, Diogo Moreira, Deniz Oncu, Moto3, Qatar MotoGP, 18 November

Running in that same trio late on saw Moreira up into second for MT Helmets-MSI, the KTM rider just 0.003s from taking pole himself.

The final front row slot went to Deniz Oncu. The Turkish rider had been top after practice and was confident of his race pace tomorrow after having pole snatched away late on as the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider set his best lap, indeed all of his consistent laps, solo.

Advantage Sasaki in title fight.

Although mathematically the riders behind can still factor, the duo with the best chance of securing the title are Ayumu Sasaki and Jaume Masia. 

Sasaki began the weekend on the back foot but was up to speed in P3 with the duo inseperable, with Sasaki just ahead in fourth to Masia’s fifth.

Come qualifying the #71 got the teamwork he needed from fellow Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP rider and Malaysia winner, Collin Veijer, taking him to fourth, with Veijer fifth.

On pole in Sepang, Masia had looked prepared when he topped P2, but qualifying did not go to plan, he returned to the pits with a dent in the front of his Leopard Honda, a result of a punch of frustration from the Spaniard, who will start in tenth.

Ahead of him on the grid Romano Fenati, back up to speed as he continues to come back from injury, was back to his best with the Rivacold Snipers team. A feature at the top of the timesheets all weekend so far, the Italian starts sixth.

Joel Kelso was only half a second off pole in a close session in seventh for CFMoto Racing PruestelGP, with Matteo Bertelle leading the timesheets for much of the session as the best of the Q1 graduates in eighth.

Ivan Ortola did enough for ninth on the Angeluss MTA Team bike, with Masia closing out the top ten.

Elsewhere, winner as recently as Thailand, David Alonso  will start 13th. Scott Ogden as a late faller, leaving the VisionTrack rider 16th.

What happened in Q1? 

Filippo Fariloli

has a back of the grid and long lap penalty for his behaviour in P2, his slow riding while making alterations to his bike in front of the Leopard bikes bringing the sanction.  The Tech3 Red Bull KTM rider was top in Q1 before the penalty is applied, and went on to place eleventh before his demotion.

He was joined in the progression slots by Adrian Fernandez on the second Leopard (14th) , Honda Team Asia’s Taiyo Furusato (17th) and Matteo Bertelle who rolled out of his lap to avoid giving a tow, to just hold on to fourth for the Snipers team.

The session was marred by slow riding, with seven bikes sat almost at at standstill at the final corner waiting for a faster rider for a tow. Their moves were placed under investigation after they pulled out in the way of the faster riders on track including Bertelle and David Munoz.

That left Munoz unable to move on for BOE Motorsports in 21st overall. The seventeen year old is a newcomer to the track having missed the beginning of the 2022 season due to his age.

All three riders ahead of him briefly held the last place for Q2 before losing it in turn. Just missing out were Riccardo Rossi in 19th after missing most of P3 with Sic58 Squadra Corse, 20th placed Josh Whatley on the second VisionTrack bike and Stefano Nepa in 21st for the Angeluss Team after heading straight back into the pits early in the session.

Injuries and replacements

Vincente Perez continued to make the most of his time at BOE Motorsports, in for Ana Carrasco until the end of the season. Straight to Q2, he claimed twelfth on the grid.

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