Dennis Foggia set about putting a lackluster performance at Jerez behind him as he built on his practice dominance, topping every session he appeared in with pole in qualifying for the French Moto3 Grand Prix at the Le Mans, seventh round of the championship.
After finishing behind him dominating the free practice sessions, passing all three, although the best time of the weekend came to him in FP2, which had arguably the best track and weather conditions.
After finishing 18th in the last race, as he slipped back in the race after an eighth in the rain at Portimao, the Leopard man was back to his best and never seemed to get out of preparation mode. the race as he climbed to pole position with a best of 1m 41.621s, improving his own lap lead timesheet as the session evolved into a last-lap last-minute shootout for position.
Although the n°7 has 78 race starts to its name, including seven victories and eighteen podium finishes, this is Foggia’s first-ever pole position in the world championship.
The team won a 1-2 on the grid with Tatsuki Suzuki in second, just 0.051 seconds behind his teammate and looking frustrated at not closing the gap.
The podium will be completed by Jaume Masia, who used teammate Daniel Holgado as a target to move up to third place behind the Honda pair for Red Bull KTM Ajo.
After showing off his off-road ability between rounds by winning the final round of the World Supermoto, rookie Diogo Moreira was in fine form and used that to slip into fourth after a spell behind teammate Ryusei Yamanaka (13th) in the last seconds of the session for MT Helmets-MSI.
A superb solo effort from Carlos Tatay moved him up to fourth, only to be pushed back one place by Moreira for CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP.
Experienced Andrea Migno chipped away lap after lap to claim sixth place with Rivacold Snipers, a solid performance for the 2021 poleman.
The GasGas riders both start from the third row.
Championship leader Sergio Garcia left it late to go straight into Q2, spending much of FP3 outside the top fifteen, a late race – risky given the number of crashes in the final stages until now this weekend – saw him progress comfortably to sixth.
His lap crash earlier in the weekend in FP1 seemed to shake his confidence, earning him the seventh fastest time despite finishing second last time out and first in France last season as the Spaniard failed to was never really turned on for the peak pace of the timesheet.
Jerez winner Izan Guevara followed a different program to his teammate but made no gain from it. Came out to gain a clear track but with Joel Kelso behind, he was eighth.
Riccardo Rossi had a slow start to the session after impressing through Q1 then stalled, but found quite a late pace for ninth in the SIC58 Squadra Corse, while Deniz Oncu (Red Bull KTM Tech3), who is also found in the first qualifying session after a crash in FP3 set the pace at the start, then came back to show enough speed to complete the top ten.
Kelso’s towing work led him to eleventh place for CIP Green Power.
Lorenzo Fellon starts his home Grand Prix from sixteenth place after running through Q1 to struggle to find a clear track or tow in Q2.
McPhee back on track
John McPhee was back in action at Le Mans after finally being cleared to race after his accident two months ago.
With his body now strong enough to withstand crash damage, the Sterilgarda Husqvrna Max Racing rider was immediately back in the mix and on pace with the rest of Moto3 despite his lack of action, moving up to eleventh at the end of the first day after doing his best. tower restored.
Based on this, the #17 went straight into Q2 after setting the twelfth fastest time after FP3. This wisely limited the time the Oban man had to be on board, allowing him to focus all his efforts on the final fifteen minutes of Moto3 action on Saturday.
That’s when the stress on his body started to kick in, working for a hard-earned 17th place in a highly competitive session.
VisionTrack Racing driver Scott Ogden looked set to be the best of the rest in 19th on the grid, but couldn’t find the right track position to earn a tow on an unfamiliar track, trying to initially leave the pits with Oncu only. starting late and slipping behind Kaito Toba instead, but not close enough to make any gains.
He was pushed back to 20th by a late improvement from Elia Bartolini (QJ Motot Avinita) who narrowly missed progress, less than 0.3s from Oncu’s Q1 time.
Ogden’s team-mate, fellow Brit Joshua Whatley finished 15th in Q1 for 29th on the grid.
Ahead of him on the grid are Jose Rueda, replacing Alberto Surra at Rivacold Snipers, who is still recovering from his fall in Austin which damaged his scaphoid, in 24th and Gerard Riu Male who replaces David Munoz for the last time. to BOE SKX when he will be old enough to ride at Mugello in 27th.
Last time at Le Mans
The 2021 Moto3 French Grand Prix was special for championship leader Sergio Garcia as he took his first victory in over a year and the second of his career, with his win at the historic Le Mans circuit also the first of the GasGas team.
The race started in the rain and the Spaniard got the better of the treacherous conditions before a drying line formed allowing him to take a comfortable lead.
The weather created an unusual podium with Garcia’s main challenger in the race, Filip Salac second for the Snipers team, while the all-teenage podium was completed by another first timer on the grandstand with Riccardo Rossi in the distance third, fending off the rapidly approaching McPhee.