Yesterday’s FP2 already promised that qualifying will be a tough battle on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, strong wind once again affected the lap times of the Moto3 riders at the Losail International Circuit, especially in the FP3, which meant that not a single pilot topped his time set in Saturday’s FP2.
The first qualifying Saturday didn’t go as planned for the Redox PrüstelGP team from the Sachsenring.
First, 17-year-old new entry, Filip Salac suffered a serious crash in the FP3 after doing well on track to further increase his lap times. Lying in position 21, the Moto3 rookie crashed after only five laps with a Highsider and hit the tank of his KTM heavily with his chest before hitting the asphalt pretty hard too. The Czech had to be taken to Doha hospital for further examination after a first check in the Medical Center, after which he missed the first qualifying of the year. Fortunately, Salac has been unharmed and will do his utmost to be fit for tomorrow’s race, which he must tackle from position 28.
After Jakub Kornfeil mastered the direct entry into Q2 via his 2’05.475 from the FPS and confirmed the sixth position in the FP3, the 25-year-old Czech came in a group of eight pilots on his last outing in Q2 and thus did not make it his time after he wanted to launch a final attack with less than 4 minutes left on the clock. In seconds, the names of the pole contenders changed, which only shows once again how close the fight is at the top of the Moto3 field. The new Qualifying format is a new challenge to the Moto3 field as the 15 minute time frame is short in each session, all the more reason to have a good time management.
Jakub Kornfeil is the only rider on the Moto3 Grid who has started all the 124 Moto3 races that have taken place since it was introduced in 2012. The routinier will start his 125th Moto3 race from position 14 tomorrow. In doing so, he will pursue the clear goal of becoming one of the top group right from the start and of keeping up. Kornfeil is convinced of the potential of his KTM and knows that unlucky circumstances are the reason for his starting place outside the top 10.
The long wait will come to an end when the opening race of Moto3 starts tomorrow at 3:00 pm (CET). Jakub Kornfeil is considered a clear top 10 candidate despite his starting position in midfield. Will the youngster, Filip Salac be able to hide the heavy departure? The answers will come after the 18-lap race tomorrow, Sunday.
The wind played once again a big role today and so we decided to try a lot today, with the tyres, gearbox and it almost paid off. I am a bit unhappy because I was pushing like hell in my first lap, I just opened the gas and immediately placed myself in top 6 I think. I came back into the box and only had one more chance after that. Unfortunately I got tangled up in a group on my first flying lap and additionally my tyre lost a lot of pressure. I don’t know yet what was going on but I still kept pushing and didn’t want to stop at that point but I knew something was wrong and I was scared because I thought my tyre would explode anytime soon. It was a strange feeling and I had a lot of movement in the rear. I am sure my lap times was still good until the last sector where Rodrigo waited for our group. This cost me precious time and definitely a top 10 position. I am sorry for the team but the feeling of the bike itself is good and we are strong and smart so I am positive for tomorrow. I am convinced that we can still finish in top 10 but we need to work our way to the front in the first part of the race. We have not yet decided on tyres but it is important to catch the front early in the race and stay with them and then we will see what happens at the end of the race.
I am super sad about the crash in FP3 today. The crash was my mistake but also a combination of the strong wind and old tyres and so it took me out. I high sided on the curbs and I fell hard on the bike and ground. I had to go to the hospital because my chest and whole right side was and still is in a lot of pain. I had to miss Qualifying so I’m unhappy to start from the back of the field because I think we could have achieved some good results. The good thing is that I can start tomorrow and I will do my best and I hope the pain killers will help me pull through but we’ll see after warm-up how I feel.