Salom Stays Ahead In Final Practice In Qatar


Luis Salom continued to lead the Moto3 class at the Losail International Circuit although conditions were much less favourable in final practice than the day before. Only two riders managed to go quicker than they had 24 hours earlier although the same three riders, Salom, Jonas Folger and Alex Rins, remained a class above the rest.

The second day of Moto3 running had a couple of common themes from the first with dust continuing to lie all over the race track, making it treacherous for riders who veered from the racing line. The other constant was the erratic riding of Niccolo Antonelli who tumbled from his Gresini FTR Honda for the second time. The damage done was much more significant this time with his first flying lap also being his last, leaving him 29th in the finishing order.

Eric Granado also came unstuck on his Aspar Kalex-KTM with a heavy fall at turn two but his teammate was busy dominating the session, pulling out a half-second lead over the rest of the field. It looked as though he would keep the advantage until the chequered flag when spots of rain started to fall but the water quickly evaporated, as did Folger’s supremacy.

Alex Rins edged ahead with six minutes remaining, even if he was still a second shy of his best time of the weekend, but Luis Salom made an even bigger jump forwards, getting down to a 2:08.167 before the drizzle intensified and all hope of improving disappeared.

Rins and Folger completed the top three with Jack Miller the first rider to improve overnight on the Caretta Technology FTR-Honda, taking fourth place. Efren Vazquez continued Mahindra’s competitive start with fifth place ahead of Alex Marquez and the recovering Maverick Vinales while Romano Fenati gave San Carlo Team Italia a welcome boost by finishing the evening in eighth.

Danny Webb was a solid ninth with John McPhee overcoming a crash to clock the fourteenth quickest time with the only other rider besides Miller to improve today, Lorenzo Baldassarri, down in 30th.