It’s a dream Saturday for the Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team as Izan Guevara and Sergio Garcia clinched pole position and second on the grid at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España in the first ever GASGAS 1-2. The number 28 jumped ahead of his teammate in the closing stages of Q2 for only a second career pole position, with Garcia was forced to settle for second and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia leaving it late to take the final front row spot.
Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) headed through on top ahead of British rookie Scot Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team), with the two split by just 0.064. A little further back, Matteo Bertelle (QJMotor Avintia Racing Team) was third quickest ahead of the final rider to move through, sophomore Xavier Artigas (CFMoto PrüstelGP) as he pipped Daniel Holgado.
At the end of the opening flying laps, it was Garcia who held provisional pole thanks to his 1:46.004. The Spaniard had a three tenth advantage with five minutes left on the clock, with Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max Racing) and Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) sitting in the early front row spots. It would then change at the top though, when Guevara, whilst riding alone, posted a 1:45.880. The number 28 managed that despite a moment on the exit of Turn 9, as the rear kicked out of line just as he applied the gas.
Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech2) then dived up to third behind the GASGAS duo, and the chequered flag came out with one man looking like challenging Guevara and Garcia: Xavi Artigas (CFMoto PrüstelGP). The Q1 graduate was on course for pole halfway around his final lap before a mistake through sector three ended his pole hopes, eventually improving to sixth.
The final spot on the front row was far from settled, though, with both Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and Masia improving late on. Foggia crossed the line first and bumped Öncü off the front row, only for Masia to then steal third away from the Italian for a first row start of the season. That confirmed Guevara’s second pole position of 2022 and Garcia, the Championship leader, in second.
Behind the GASGAS duo and Masia front row, Foggia, Öncü and Artigas will pose a threat from row two no doubt, with some serious challengers all packed together. Row three of the grid was supposed to see early Q2 challenger Sasaki at the head, but the Japanese rider has been given a back of the grid start for irresponsible riding in FP3, as well as a Long Lap penalty for the race. So it’ll now be Rossi ahead of the fastest man from FP3 on Saturday morning Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI).
Carlos Tatay would have been next up on his CFMoto PrüstelGP machine, but he will also start from the back of the grid and do a Long Lap, so Q1 graduate Ogden moves up along with Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI). Rivacold Snipers’ Andrea Migno is next up, looking for more on race day.
It’ll be all eyes on the challengers at the front and plenty on Sasaki and Tatay coming from the back on Sunday.