Rain hinders qualifying for Jorge Martin at COTA
The Moto3 qualifying session at the Grand Prix of the Americas was affected by rain on Saturday afternoon in Texas. The fastest rider was the young German Philipp Oettl, who registered a fast lap at just the right time. His best lap time was three seconds slower than Danny Kent’s pole here last season but it was enough to give to Oettl his first Grand Prix pole.
After the rain came it was impossible for the riders to improve their times and therefore Jorge Navarro and Enea Bastianini had to settle for second and third places respectively. The championship leader, South African Brad Binder, will start tomorrow’s race from the fourth row of the grid.
The Aspar Mahindra riders, like most of the grid, were surprised by the rain and on their last fast runs they each lost about a second and a half in the final quarter due to the wet track, which prevented them from challenging for the top ten.
Both Pecco Bagnaia, 18th, and Jorge Martin, 20th, had first gone out on wet tyres, but then changed to dry tyres, only for the rain to reappear and scupper their plans. However, the two Aspar team riders finished their day’s work certain of having a fighting chance in Sunday’s race.
20th Jorge Martín 2’21.486 (11 laps):
“It was a difficult qualifying session because we started and it looked like the track was wet, but really it was dry. After the confusion we re-entered the box to change tyres but when we were riding with the dry tyres on the second lap the rain came again and I could not improve my time. The good news is that at the front there are several riders who have not been in those positions throughout the weekend, so I hope to pull back several places in the race.”