Italian rookie Niccolo Antonelli pulled off the best qualifying performance of his Moto3 career at Catalunya but admitted later on that he could've done even better. In an eventful finish to the session, the 16 year old hit traffic, preventing him from improving, and crashed shortly afterwards. With that in mind, Antonelli admitted the result could've been worse.
“It could have been better but for the amount of traffic at the end of the session, which cost me time. Having said that on my fastest lap I almost crashed in the final sector so I guess I have to be grateful to have qualified in tenth, which is positive because it is my best grid so far. Also I am less than a second off Vinales and only half a second from the front row.”
Team Manager Fausto Gresini is backing Antonelli to move forward in the race and put today's misfortune down to inexperience.
“It was NiccolÃ²’s best session of the season so far so it’s a very positive day. I am sure that he can have a good race tomorrow because his pace is good and even though he starts from the front row he has already shown that he is not scared of passing people. It was a shame that he lost time on his best lap, which maybe showed a lack of experience and he needs to learn to pick his moment better in qualifying. But we’re not putting pressure on him, just letting him develop naturally.”