A surprise name at the top of the timesheet on a wet Saturday morning in Japan
Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) remains fastest overall after Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia set the best lap in a wet FP2 session for the Moto3™ field at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan. The Italian is not regarded as a wet weather specialist but he reclaimed top spot with a 2:09.684 as he took the chequered flag at the Mobility Resort Motegi, leaving him 0.081 seconds ahead of Honda Team Asia’s Mario Aji and 0.220 seconds up on the Rivacold Snipers Team’s Andrea Migno. There was no change to the combined top 14, however, and it is Friday’s dry FP1 session which sets the starting order for Q1 later today.
‘The Rocket’ does it in the rain
Foggia and Leopard Racing teammate Tatsuki Suzuki were both a regular presence at or near the top of the timing monitor throughout the 40-minute session, which began with rain and saw a wet track throughout despite the showers easing off midway through proceedings. Suzuki was the man to beat for the first 15 minutes or so, and was first to move the benchmark into the 2:09s with less than seven minutes remaining. Foggia moved the marker to a 2:09.860 in the final minute before the chequered flag, was usurped by Aji’s 2:09.765, then hit back on is very last lap. Migno claimed third on a 2:09.904 and Suzuki finished fourth-fastest on the 2:09.909 referred to above.
The rest of the top 10 was John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max), from Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI), Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP), Sergio Garcia (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team), and Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse). Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a 2:09.640 which would have been the fastest lap of the session cancelled due to a breach of track limits at Turn 14 and was classified 11th on a 2:10.892, four positions ahead of Moreira on a 2:11.109.
World Championship leader Izan Guevara (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) was only 16th for the session but, unlike teammate Garcia, is locked into Q2. Whether that is an advantage or not, however, depends on how the weather plays out – recent track experience could be valuable in the fight for pole.
Wet and not quite so wild
Despite the tricky conditions, there were relatively few incidents. Aside from a handful of excursions through Motegi’s gravel traps, just three riders were seen crashing during the session, namely Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia) at Turn 11, Elia Bartolini (QJMotor Avintia Racing Team) at Turn 5, and McPhee right at the end at Turn 3 – rider okay.
So, no change to the Q1 starting order, but valuable wet weather mileage ahead of that session today at 12:35 (GMT +9) – don’t miss it!
1. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – 2:09.684
2. Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia) + 0.081
3. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.220
4. Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing) + 0.225
5. John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 0.238
6. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 0.270
7. Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) + 0.341
8. Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrustelGP) + 0.925
9. Sergio Garcia (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) + 1.086
10. Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 1.172