Rookie Diogo Moreira tops Friday practice in Moto3 ahead of veterans Dennis Foggia and Ayumu Sasaki – World Championship leader Izan Guevara in seventh
Diogo Moreira (KTM) finished the first and only Friday practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix with a fastest time. The rookie took the lead late on a dry track with a time of 1’57.252, relegating Dennis Foggia (Honda) and Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) to second and third respectively.
Moreira’s time was just over a second off the track record set in 2016 on his first outing at the Twin Motegi Ring, and for many riders it is their first contact with the track, which has not been raced on since 2019.
Jaume Masia (KTM) initially led the timing for the first half of practice, but was then edged out by World Championship leader Izan Guevara (GasGas), who was the first to crack the 1’58” mark. A total of ten other riders managed to do the same in the final phase.
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Guevara himself was unable to improve and dropped to seventh still behind the top 3, David Munoz (KTM), John McPhee (Husqvarna) and Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda).
Riccardo Rossi, Andrea Migno (both Honda) and Ryusei Yamanaka (KTM) completed the top 10, separated by 0.540 seconds. The last four places for direct Q2 entry are provisionally Deniz Öncü, Kaito Toba, Adrian Fernandez (all KTM) and Masia, who ended up 14th.
With rain expected tomorrow morning, further gains are unlikely. Three riders crashed today: Nicola Fabio Carraro (KTM) went down right at the beginning in turn 13, later Scott Ogden (Honda) crashed in turn 2 and towards the end Lorenzo Fellon (Honda) was also caught in turn 13.