A new rider heads the grid and fresh faces lock out the front row in Indonesia.
Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) will start from his first World Championship pole position after beating rookie Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) by 0.083s in Moto3™ qualifying at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia. Home hero and rookie Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia) claimed a sensational front row start for the first Indonesian GP in 25 years in third, and that after coming through Q1.
That Q1 saw many eyes on Aji, as well as Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GAGAS Aspar Team) as the 2021 title contender looked for a way through. Aji was the pacesetter heading into the final runs and Garcia crashed early to put himself under pressure for his, but by the end of the shuffle it was Garcia able to just pip the Indonesian to the top. They moved through, joined by Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) and Alberto Surra (Rivacold Snipers Team).
After coming through Q1 and seemingly in the groove, Aji led Q2 in the early stages from Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) and Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing). But with track conditions improving lap by lap, the times were likewise improving all the time. Tatay went P1 with teammate Xavier Artigas slotting into P3, and Foggia then crashed at Turn 2 – the same place Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) went down earlier in the session.
Tatay then moved the goalposts to a 1:41.232, Artigas jumped into second and Foggia, recovering from his tumble, managed to put himself onto the provisional front row in third. But it wasn’t quite over, and rookies Moreira and Aji then crossed the line on their final laps to take front row starts and deny the veterans.
Behind Tatay, Moreira and Aji, Artigas leads the second row in P4 ahead of Free Practice pacesetter and World Championship leader Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team), with Foggia forced to settle for P6. Garcia took P7 after recovering from his crash in Q1, and the Spaniard is joined on the third row by teammate Izan Guevara and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3). Sasaki, Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Surra make up Row 4 and the leading 12 riders on the grid.
What a front row we have for the Moto3™ race in Mandalika. Tatay leads two rookies, with the experienced guard not too far behind. It promises to be another classic, so make sure you don’t miss it at 12:00 local time (GMT+8) on Sunday!
Moto3™ FRONT ROW
1 Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) – CFMoto – 1’41.232
2 Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) – KTM – +0.083
3 Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia) – Honda – +0.335
Carlos Tatay: “It feels really good, I’m really enjoying it. This is something I’ve been looking for for too long so now I need to enjoy and then focus for tomorrow’s race. I did a good lap, I did it alone, I was feeling really good and I enjoyed it. We did it and now let’s enjoy the watch!”
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