Johann Zarco claimed his maiden pole position in Grand Prix racing after a rain shower midway through qualifying rendered his lap time unbeatable.
The Frenchman timed his run to perfection, putting in his fastest lap of the weekend to move ahead of Sergio Gadea, but with just under half an hour to go, the session was starting to come to life. However, the rain that halted Friday afternoon's session returned, effectively ending the action.
Gadea took pole position initially with a 2:00.903 at the eight minute mark, but Zarco was following closely behind and went six tenths quicker on the Derbi. As dark clouds started to move towards the circuit, the 20 year old went even faster as he tried to secure a sensible grid position in the dry. Zarco took over 1.2seconds off his previous pole time to give himself a two second cushion over the field.
Luis Salom had the same idea and jumped up into second with a 2:00.620 which although it was over a second and a half away from pole, secured the best ever grid slot for the Spaniard, just seven days after his first podium at Assen.
Gadea's lap at the start of the session was still good enough for third, his first front row start of the season, with Efren Vazquez qualifying fourth.
Nicolas Terol was over a second quicker than the entire field in final practice this morning but didn't get the opportunity to show his blistering pace in qualifying and will start fifth. The Spaniard could afford a smile though as his chief rival in the title race, Jonas Folger was caught out by the rain and will start all the way back in 21st.
Sandro Cortese will round out the second row in sixth on the Intact-Racing Team Aprilia while in-form Maverick Vinales will have work to do from seventh. He will be joined on the third row by the two remaining Aspar Aprilias of Hector Faubel and Adrian Martin.
Danny Webb managed to get a representative lap time in before the rain fell to qualify 12th on the Mahindra, as did Harry Stafford who finished an excellent 17th. Danny Kent wasn't quite as lucky and will be frustrated with 26th after a promising weekend so far. Taylor Mackenzie will start just behind in 28th.
|2||Luis Salom||SPA||RW Racing GP||2:00.620||+1.632|
|3||Sergio Gadea||SPA||Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing||2:00.903||+1.915|
|5||Nicolas Terol||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||2:01.033||+2.045|
|6||Sandro Cortese||GER||Intact-Racing Team Germany||2:01.093||+2.105|
|7||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing||2:01.201||+2.213|
|8||Hector Faubel||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||2:01.351||+2.363|
|9||Adrian Martin||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||2:01.679||+2.691|
|10||Louis Rossi||FRA||Matteoni Racing||2:01.768||+2.780|
|11||Miguel Oliveira||POR||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||2:01.781||+2.793|
|12||Danny Webb||GBR||Mahindra Racing||2:01.811||+2.823|
|13||Marcel Schrotter||GER||Mahindra Racing||2:01.839||+2.851|
|14||Simone Grotzkyj||ITA||Phonica Racing||2:01.927||+2.939|
|16||Alberto Moncayo||SPA||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||2:02.153||+3.165|
|18||Sturla Fagerhaug||NOR||WTR-Ten10 Racing||2:02.483||+3.495|
|20||Alexis Masbou||FRA||Caretta Technology||2:02.929||+3.941|
|21||Jonas Folger||GER||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||2:02.931||+3.943|
|22||Kevin Calia||ITA||MGP Racing||2:02.949||+3.961|
|23||Niklas Ajo||FIN||TT Motion Events Racing||2:02.965||+3.977|
|24||Luigi Morciano||ITA||Team Italia FMI||2:03.077||+4.089|
|26||Danny Kent||GBR||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||2:03.482||+4.494|
|27||Miroslav Popov||CZE||Ellegi Racing||2:03.684||+4.696|
|28||Taylor Mackenzie||GBR||Phonica Racing||2:03.915||+4.927|
|29||Francesco Mauriello||ITA||WTR-Ten10 Racing||2:04.632||+5.644|
|30||Alessandro Tonucci||ITA||Team Italia FMI||2:04.663||+5.675|
|32||Giulian Pedone||SWI||Phonica Racing||2:04.860||+5.872|
|33||Peter Sebestyen||HUN||Caretta Technology||2:05.954||+6.966|
|34||Joan Perello||SPA||Matteoni Racing||2:07.064||+8.076|
|107% Time: 2:07.317|
|NQ||Massimo Parziani||ITA||Faenza Racing||2:09.633||+10.645|