moto3 / Rain shuffles the deck in QP in Holland
Precipitation and low temperatures influenced Qualifying for the 2017 Dutch GP heavily. Joan Mir was denied a front row start and ended the session in 7th position while a grip problem slowed down Livio Loi who tomorrow will close the sixth row of the grid.
On Saturday morning the rain started and low temperatures (16°C air / 17°C asphalt) made for a very tough third and final free practice session. Time were obviously quite far off Friday’s pace, but the two Leopard Racing teammates were in great shape with the leader of the Championship, Joan mir, always close to the very first positions and his team-mate Livio Loi appearing in the Top Ten.
Palma de Mallorca’s talent was the first to drop under 1’58 barrier 10 minutes from the end of FP3, before finishing in third place. Meanwhile the Belgian (who here at Assen TT runs as a ‘home’ rider) was the author of the 12th fastest time. Unfortunately, the weather influenced the decisive moment of the day, with the arrival of the rain just before the official qualifying session.
Joan Mir was able to confirm his pace in the wet, always gravitating around the Top Five, until he suffered a fall at Turn 3 due to losing the front of his machine. At that point the mechanics and the whole team focused their efforts on getting the Spaniard back on track. The short time at his disposal back on track was enough to close with a dignified 7th place, despite the long and forced stop at the box .
A good session also for his team-mate Livio Loi, running for most of the session in the top Ten. Only a bad tyre deprived the Belgian of the satisfaction of being closer to the top of the category. Tomorrow he will close the sixth row on the starting grid of the “Cathedral”.
The protagonists of the Moto3 class will return tomorrow morning at 8:40 am for 20 minutes of Warm Up, anticipating the 2017 season’s eighth race, which will kick off at 11:00 local time.
#36 Joan MIR – 7th (2’00.673):
“It was a complicated day on the water. In FP3 I felt comfortable while in Qualifying I suffered a set back and I was still in the box until the final minutes, only managing two laps.. I did not have time to lower my pace. However, I’m confident because, we have been competitive in every session and we will be in the race tomorrow too!”
#11 Livio LOI – 18th (2’01.357):
“Rain is not my favourite, but this morning’s session did not go bad. The Qualifying was a disaster: with the new tyre I had no grip. Too bad, because I was doing a good rhythm and I had my best time alone.”
Moto3™ Qualifying Classification:
1 – J. Martin / SPA / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / 1’57.595
2 – B. Bendsneyder / NED / RedBull KTM Ajo / KTM / 1’58.424
3 – N. Bulega / ITA / Sky Racing VR46 / KTM / 1’59.308
7 – J. Mir / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 2’00.673
18 – L. Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / 2’01.357
Moto3™ Schedule (Local Time, GMT +2):
Sunday, June 25th:
08:40-09:00 – WarmUp
11:00 (22 Laps) – Race
Photo credit: Leopard Racing