Fridays Moto3 Free practice welcomed the single-cylinder 250cc engines return after the summer break for round 10 of the Czech Grand Prix at Automotodrom Brno.
Free Practice 1 saw Bester Capital Dubai rider Jaume Masia top the timings board in the dry for a 2:08.615 with the Kömmerling Gresini rider Gabriel Rodrigo coming in second and John McPhee storming to third on the Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda.
Rapid Gabriel Rodrigo Suffers Cruel Crash
The Czech crowd witnessed a blistering lap in Free Practice 2 by Gabriel Rodrigo which the Kömmerling Gresini rider set an impressive 2:08.125 at the Automotodrom Brno, however, the late push came at a price as the Argentine high sided and crashed at turn 1 leaving him with a double fracture (right collarbone and pelvis). There will be no heroic return as he is out for the Weekend at the very least.
Wet Qualifying (Q1)
A wet track meant the times were not going to break any records but that doesn’t mean we were not going to see any effort from the young talented field trying. Can Oncu set it off with the quickest time on the damp track that was bested by Raul Fernandez however Makar Yurchenko had other plans knocking Fernandez from the top of the timings board but Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team rider surprised the Czech crowd with a blistering fast lap in the wet that meant despite Makar Yurchenko’s personal best it was not enough to dethrone Fernandez.
The only Honda rider in the top 8 of Q1 was Alonso Lopez of Estrella Galicia, who posted a great time that knocked Can Oncu down to fourth and it really looked like C.Oncu’s time in the top 4 were numbered as Albert Arenas was riding like a man possessed and was within a time that would have seen the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider relegated to the back half of the grid. Again a twist was to rob him of Q2 progression as Arenas crashed on Turn 13, this ended his hopes of being at the front of the pack at the start on Sunday’s race.
Q1 Top 4
|1||25||Raul FERNANDEZ||Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team||KTM||2:19.006|
|2||76||Makar YURCHENKO||BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race||KTM||2:19.158|
|3||21||Alonso LOPEZ||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||2:19.642|
|4||61||Can ONCU||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||2:19.659|
Birthday Boy Tony Arbolino rules Q2
Q2 started with drama as Lorenzo Dalla Porta went out to set a time for Q2 but his title hopes took a knock as he came straight back into the pits with what looked like a gear shift issue but unfortunately did not go back out so will be starting 17th on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Tony Arbolino was consistent throughout the session and showed why he is the only rider to win two races this season despite not being at the top of the standings. The Italian who posted on social media that it was his birthday was rewarded for his efforts with a pole position for the VNE Snipers team. Arbolinos 2:18.020 was 0.400 faster than seconded placed John Mcphee.
John Mcphee on the Petronas Sprinta Racing was riding well and he was further bolstered as Fernandez crashed on his last flying lap which meant that riders behind couldn’t complete their flying lap and were held up. McPhee, however, was luckily ahead of the chaos and was able to put his Honda on the front row with an impressive second place alongside Arbolino and SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Niccolo Antonelli who finished the session in third.
Q2 Top 4
|1||14||Tony ARBOLINO||VNE Snipers||Honda||2:18.020|
|2||17||John MCPHEE||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||2:18.420|
|3||23||Niccolò ANTONELLI||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||2:18.822|
|4||24||Tatsuki SUZUKI||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||2:18.853|