MotoGP Mugello: Oncu on Moto3 pole


Picture: GeeBee Images

Tech3 KTM’s Deniz Öncü claimed pole position for the Moto3 Italian Grand Prix after setting a 1’56.811 lap at Mugello on Saturday.

The Turk was joined in Parc Fermé by fellow Red Bull KTM rider Daniel Holgado, on the Ajo machine and Friday hero Dennis Foggia. Sterilgarda Husqvarna’s John McPhee qualifying sixth after a brief spell on provisional pole.

Alberto Surra’s home qualifying lasted just five corners after the Rivacold Snipers’ rider suffered a heavy highside on his out lap as Moto3 headed out on Saturday afternoon. The Italian having just returned from his four-race absence following injury to his wrist at the AmericasGP.

Class rookie David Muñoz headed the Q1 times as the opening laps registered. The BOE rider having just turned 16 on race day at Le Mans, finally allowing his official participation. MT Helmets’ Ryusei Yamanaka and Avintia’s Matteo Bertelle bettered the youngster next time around with Tech3’s Adrian Fernandez completing the top four in the early stages.

Joel Kelso advanced to sixth in the second half, the Australian still suffering from the thigh injury sustained during the warm-up accident at Jerez with Lorenzo Fellon narrowly ahead in fifth.

Muñoz secured a personal best in the final minute as Fellon advanced to third, Fernandez dropped out of contention as the session concluded.

The 18-strong pack set out for the shootout with Izan Guevara setting solitary and session topping pace as black clouds began to roll in. Sic58’s Riccardo Rossi setting the outright pace with a 1’57.450 with Holgado and Guevara completing the early front row places.

The second efforts saw McPhee up the pace with a 1’57.299 to take charge in provisional pole. KTM’s Jaume Masia hitting third with Tatsuki Suzuki up to fourth while his Leopard teammate ran sixth.

Scott Ogden’s maiden Mugello qualifying saw the Brit circulating eighth with three minutes to go. The VisionTrack rider’s 1’57.958 bettering a number of big names including Sergio Garcia, Andrea Migno and Öncü.

Foggia pushed on his own solitary run to find second, just six-hundredths shy of a consecutive pole score in the penultimate minute. The Italian briefly taking the spoils before being denied almost instantly by the Tech3 star. Garcia joining the front row as McPhee dropped to fourth with one lap left.

The final hot laps saw McPhee held up and pushed wide by the pursuing pack, Öncü claiming the pole position in the final shuffle from Holgado and Foggia with Aspar teammates Garcia and Guevara heading McPhee on row two. Diogo Moreira headed the third row on the MT Helmets from h8is own team-mate Yamanaka with Rossi splitting the pair from eighth. Masia forced to settle for tenth at the flag ahead of Suzuki, Fellon and Bertelle. Ogden prepares to line up 14th for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix with Muñoz, Migno, Carlos Tatay and Stefano Nepa completing the set.

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