Maverick Vinales claimed his second consecutive pole position in his maiden 125cc Grand Prix season after a drying track provided a dramatic conclusion to qualifying.
A rain shower five minutes in threw the session into chaos with very few riders having set a representative time. It left local rider Jasper Iwema staring at a dream pole position in front of his home crowd, with Simone Grotzkyj and Giulian Pedone completing an unlikely front row.
Iwema's prayers were not answered and with 15 minutes to go, Sergio Gadea got to within 0.067s off his pole time, triggering a mad dash onto the circuit as the 36 riders realised that pole position was up for grabs.
The first man to usurp Iwema's time was British rookie Harry Stafford who set a 1:50.721, over a second quicker than the Dutchman but Johann Zarco was clearly the man to watch, setting consecutive flying laps to get down to a 1:45.732, two second quicker than his nearest rival.
With five minutes remaining, Hector Faubel hit the front on the Aspar Aprilia but was quickly knocked off pole position by Efren Vazquez. The lap times changed frantically as the riders all went out on their final runs, with Faubel and Zarco each taking another turn at the top before Sandro Cortese went fastest, becoming the first rider to get into the 1:44s.
But Vinales beat the lot of them with just over a minute to go with a 1:44.597 to snatch pole from the German. Zarco, who was running nose-to-tail with the 16-year-old, got up to second on his final lap, demoting Cortese to third.
Faubel was forced to settle for fourth while Luis Salom and Efren Vazquez towed each other along to fifth and sixth respectively. Both were on personal bests though on their final efforts but seemed to hamper each other's laps.
Jonas Folger and Nicolas Terol will start further down the field than usual after both crashed during the session. Folger's accident came right at the start as the rain started to fall and did well even to get back out on track at all after a nasty looking fall at the final chicane.
Terol's nightmare day continued as he crashed his Aspar Aprilia for the second time in as many sessions. The championship leader was on target to challenge Vinales before crashing in the final minute and showed the after effects of his morning spill as he limped away.
Sergio Gadea completed the third row while two British riders will start from the fourth row. Danny Kent has been in around the top ten all weekend and that is exactly where he'll start tomorrow, while Danny Webb gave Mahindra their best qualifying result so far in 11th.
Stafford fell back from provisional pole to a still impressive 21st, while Taylor Mackenzie will start 25th. Jasper Iwema's dream turned to a nightmare after crashing as he tried to defend his earlier pole position and dropped to 33rd.
|1||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing||1:44.597|
|3||Sandro Cortese||GER||Intact-Racing Team Germany||1:44.787||+0.190|
|4||Hector Faubel||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||1:44.963||+0.366|
|5||Luis Salom||SPA||RW Racing GP||1:45.235||+0.638|
|7||Jonas Folger||GER||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||1:45.859||+1.262|
|8||Nicolas Terol||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||1:45.983||+1.386|
|9||Sergio Gadea||SPA||Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing||1:46.204||+1.607|
|10||Danny Kent||GBR||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||1:46.568||+1.971|
|11||Danny Webb||GBR||Mahindra Racing||1:46.594||+1.997|
|12||Simone Grotzkyj||ITA||Phonica Racing||1:46.610||+2.013|
|13||Giulian Pedone||SWI||Phonica Racing||1:46.668||+2.071|
|14||Marcel Schrotter||GER||Mahindra Racing||1:46.819||+2.222|
|15||Luigi Morciano||ITA||Team Italia FMI||1:46.988||+2.391|
|16||Alexis Masbou||FRA||Caretta Technology||1:47.091||+2.494|
|17||Sturla Fagerhaug||NOR||WTR-Ten10 Racing||1:47.438||+2.841|
|19||Louis Rossi||FRA||Matteoni Racing||1:47.819||+3.222|
|20||Alberto Moncayo||SPA||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||1:47.973||+3.376|
|22||Luca Gruenwald||GER||Freudenberg Racing Team||1:47.996||+3.399|
|23||Adrian Martin||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||1:48.003||+3.406|
|24||Niklas Ajo||FIN||TT Motion Events Racing||1:48.351||+3.754|
|25||Taylor Mackenzie||GBR||Phonica Racing||1:48.883||+4.286|
|26||Bryan Schouten||NED||Dutch Racing Team||1:49.002||+4.405|
|27||Peter Sebestyen||HUN||Caretta Technology||1:49.118||+4.521|
|28||Alessandro Tonucci||ITA||Team Italia FMI||1:49.377||+4.780|
|29||Jerry van de Bunt||NED||Jerrys Racing Team||1:49.625||+5.028|
|30||Josep Rodriguez||SPA||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||1:49.760||+5.163|
|31||Joan Perello||SPA||Matteoni Racing||1:49.913||+5.316|
|32||Thomas van Leeuwen||NED||Racing Team Van Leeuwen||1:50.020||+5.423|
|107% Time: 1:51.919|
|NQ||Ernst Dubbink||NED||RV Racing Team||1:52.054||+7.457|
|NQ||Francesco Mauriello||ITA||WTR-Ten10 Racing||1:57.548||+12.951|
|NQ||Zulfahmi Khairuddin||MAL||AirAsia-Sic-Ajo||No Time|