Jaume Masia takes pole position for the Doha Grand Prix03/04/2021
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider qualifies in first position amidst strong winds. Pedro Acosta finishes ninth in Qualifying 2.
Strong gusts of wind in Qatar were not enough to stop a Jaume Masia charge to his first pole position of the season – his third in Grand Prix racing. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider and current Moto3 World Championship leader will head the grid for the Doha Grand Prix tomorrow, the second race of 2021. Teammate Pedro Acosta was ninth in Qualifying 2, although he will have to start from the pit-lane after incurring a penalty.
FP3 saw the wind reach up to 40km/h, meaning no rider was able to lower their lap times from Friday. That meant that both Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 made it through to Q2, and they took on the final Free Practice calmly and without taking risks. Acosta finished in 10th position with a time of 2:08.055 and a total of 13 laps completed. Just behind him, Masia was 11th after stopping the clock at 2:08.234 on his fourth attempt of 13.
Conditions improved slightly for Q2, although there were sporadic gusts that caused issues. Masia kept his focus to claim pole position at the Doha Grand Prix, thanks to a final fast hot lap of 2:05.913. Acosta claimed a positive ninth place through a 2:06.829, but the reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion will start tomorrow from the pit-lane after being sanctioned for slow riding in FP2.
The 18-lap Doha Grand Prix gets underway at 5 PM local time on Sunday at the Losail International Circuit.
Results (Qualifying day)
1. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:05.913
2. Sergio Garcia (GasGas) 2:06.012 +0.099
3. Jeremy Alcoba (Honda) 2:06.158 +0.245
4. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 2:06.346 +0.433
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 2:06.407 +0.494
9. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.829 +0.916
5 JAUME MASIA
“It was a tough Saturday, as it was so windy. The conditions improved a bit in Q2, as there was not as much dust in the air. It was a day that we just had to grit our teeth and get through. We eventually took pole position, which is good, but the important thing is Sunday’s race. We are likely to see a contest like last week’s, with a large group leading the way. We will have to keep a cool head on the opening laps and play our cards at the end in order to get the best possible result.”
37 PEDRO ACOSTA
“We bettered our feeling today compared to yesterday, which is important. In qualifying we worked well, although I made a small mistake in the session. What I will take away is that we have improved on our result from last week, and it is positive to progress little by little. Tomorrow we will start from the pit-lane, which guarantees that it will be a tough race. I’ll give my all.”