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.

 

Qualifying Result:

Pos Rider Nat Team Lap Time Gap
1 Johann Zarco FRA Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 1:58.988
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
4 Efren Vazquez SPA Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 2:01.026 +2.038
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 Andalucía 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
15 Jakub Kornfeil CZE Ongetta-Centro-Seta 2:01.976 +2.988
16 Alberto Moncayo SPA Andalucía Banca Civica 2:02.153 +3.165
17 Harry Stafford GBR Ongetta-Centro-Seta 2:02.349 +3.361
18 Sturla Fagerhaug NOR WTR-Ten10 Racing 2:02.483 +3.495
19 Jasper Iwema NED Ongetta-Abbink-Metaal 2:02.746 +3.758
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
25 Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL AirAsia-Sic-Ajo 2:03.375 +4.387
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