Alex Rins produced the fastest ever Moto3 lap of Mugello to claim his second pole position of the season. The Spaniard hit the front at the halfway mark in this afternoon’s 40 minute session and was never genuinely threatened, although Jack Miller did eventually close to within three tenths to qualify second.
The free practice times were suggesting that Honda power was the best way to get around the 5.245km circuit and Alex Marquez backed up that theory with a 1:58.029 to go fastest but moments later, his teammate raised the bar completely, bypassing the 1:57s and breaking straight into the 1:56s, albeit by a thousandth of a second. Jack Miller followed the Estrella Galicia Honda over the finish line to go second but his lap was almost a second slower, emphasising how impressive Rins had been.
It was just as well that Alex had put in that record lap as the Spaniard lost control into turn two five minutes later. Although he recovered his bike to the pits and re-emerged in the closing minutes, any realistic hope of improving his time had disappeared. Miller may have been causing a nervous moment or two when he set fastest first sectors in the latter stages but relentless traffic in the final sector of the lap stopped him dead in his tracks.
Despite his obvious and understandable frustration, Jack held onto second with Jakub Kornfeil snatching third with a last gasp improvement. Home favourite Romano Fenati was demoted to the second row as a result but given his recent troubles, the Sky Racing VR46 rider will fancy his chances of challenging for victory from fourth. Alexis Masbou and Alex Marquez ensured the Italian will have a pair of Hondas for company on row two tomorrow after qualifying fifth and sixth.
Karel Hanika was a solid seventh on the second Red Bull Ajo KTM ahead of Juanfran Guevara while Brad Binder gave Mahindra a boost by beating Efren Vazquez and John McPhee to ninth. Eleventh may have fallen slightly short of expectations for the Briton but there is no question that Danny Kent will be furious with 26th, 2.2 seconds shy of pole.