Austin Moto3: Oettl tops rain-affected qualifying
Schedl GP Racing rider Philipp Oettl claimed his maiden pole position in Moto3, taking advantage of rain impeding his rivals in qualifying at COTA.
Oettl, contesting his fourth full season in Moto3, posted the benchmark in the opening minutes of the session and could subsequently sit back and relax as raindrops did the rest of the job.
With damp patches on the track surface at the start of the session after rain had arrived late during Moto2 practice, a number riders opted to do their recon laps on wets.
But the track was more than good enough for the dry compound right away, Oettl setting the early pace on slicks.
The German continued to gradually improve with each lap, holding on to the top spot by halfway into the session, at which point the rain suddenly returned.
As the rain flags made their appearance, Estrella Galicia's practice pacesetter Jorge Navarro was among the last riders to improve, moving to within six tenths of Oettl and just 0.011s ahead of fellow Honda rider Enea Bastianini.
Just as quickly as the rain arrived, it was gone again.
With 10 minutes to go, riders began to head back out on slicks en masse but improvements were few and far between, with nobody coming even close to matching Oettl's existing benchmark.
As such, it would be a Oettl - Navarro - Bastianini front row, with Drive M7 SIC teammates Jakub Kornfeil and Adam Norrodin in fourth and sixth, split on the second row by Romano Fenati.
Andrea Locatelli was seventh, ahead of Jules Danilo, Friday pacesetter Fabio Quartararo and Livio Loi.
The two crashes of the session were Karel Hanika and Stefan Valtulini, the duo caught out by the arrival of rain mid-session.
|1||Philipp Oettl||Schedl GP Racing||KTM RC 250 GP||2:18.398|
|2||Jorge Navarro||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda NSF250RW||2:18.985|
|3||Enea Bastianini||Gresini Racing Moto3||Honda NSF250RW||2:18.996|
|4||Jakub Kornfeil||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||Honda NSF250RW||2:19.068|
|5||Romano Fenati||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM RC 250 GP||2:19.135|
|6||Adam Norrodin||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||Honda NSF250RW||2:19.469|
|7||Andrea Locatelli||Leopard Racing||KTM RC 250 GP||2:19.708|
|8||Jules Danilo||Ongetta-Rivacold||Honda NSF250RW||2:19.790|
|9||Fabio Quartararo||Leopard Racing||KTM RC 250 GP||2:20.118|
|10||Livio Loi||RW Racing GP BV||Honda NSF250RW||2:20.230|
|11||Nicolo Bulega||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM RC 250 GP||2:20.444|
|12||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM RC 250 GP||2:20.456|
|13||Tatsuki Suzuki||CIP-Unicom Starker||Mahindra MGP30||2:20.499|
|14||Juan Francisco Guevara||RBA Racing Team||KTM RC 250 GP||2:20.649|
|15||Alexis Masbou||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||Peugeot MGP30||2:20.773|
|16||Hiroki Ono||Honda Team Asia||Honda NSF250RW||2:21.151|
|17||John McPhee||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||Peugeot MGP30||2:21.159|
|18||Francesco Bagnaia||ASPAR Mahindra Team Moto3||Mahindra MGP30||2:21.309|
|19||Karel Hanika||Platinum Bay Real Estate||Mahindra MGP30||2:21.379|
|20||Jorge Martin||ASPAR Mahindra Team Moto3||Mahindra MGP30||2:21.486|
|21||Andrea Migno||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM RC 250 GP||2:21.957|
|22||Aron Canet||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda NSF250RW||2:22.232|
|23||Bo Bendsneyder||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM RC 250 GP||2:22.251|
|24||Gabriel Rodrigo||RBA Racing Team||KTM RC 250 GP||2:22.687|
|25||Lorenzo Petrarca||3570 Team Italia||Mahindra MGP30||2:22.794|
|26||Darryn Binder||Platinum Bay Real Estate||Mahindra MGP30||2:23.097|
|27||Maria Herrera||Team Laglisse||KTM RC 250 GP||2:23.461|
|28||Stefano Valtulini||3570 Team Italia||Mahindra MGP30||2:23.495|
|29||Joan Mir||Leopard Racing||KTM RC 250 GP||2:23.578|
|30||Niccolo Antonelli||Ongetta-Rivacold||Honda NSF250RW||2:24.379|
|31||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini Racing Moto3||Honda NSF250RW||2:24.477|
|32||Khairul Idham Pawi||Honda Team Asia||Honda NSF250RW||2:24.640|
|33||Fabio Spiranelli||CIP-Unicom Starker||Mahindra MGP30||2:31.357|
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