Romano Fenati claimed his first pole position of the 2017 season after playing his tactics to perfection in a frantic finish to qualifying at Silverstone. The Italian pipped championship rival Joan Mir with the chequered flag waving with Gabriel Rodrigo securing his third consecutive front row start in third.
For the most part, it was a rather uneventful session bookended by two frenetic spectacles which saw the entire field chasing lap times, and slipstream, around the high-speed Silverstone circuit. Bo Bendsneyder initially looked to have made the best start, clocking a 2:13.389, but failure to respect track limits saw his lap time cancelled, handing the early initiative to Nicolo Bulega.
Incredibly, the Sky VR46 rider’s time stood until the very dying seconds as the last-gasp rush for a grid spot commenced. The British fans looked to have got their wish when John McPhee dethroned Bulega, setting a 2:13.398, but Mir and Rodrigo were lapping together close behind and both would relegate the British Talent Team man to third.
Fenati, meanwhile, had steered clear of the traffic and chosen to circulate alone and that strategy paid dividends for the Italian who set a blistering 2:12.846 to end his year-long pole position drought. Mir and Rodrigo will join him on the front row tomorrow with McPhee leading the home challenge from fourth.
Niccolo Antonelli emerged from the pack in the closing stages to grab fifth ahead of Andrea Migno with their respective team-mates Bendsneyder and Bulega tumbling to seventh and eighth respectively after their early laps were finally overhauled. Qualifying king Jorge Martin could only manage ninth while Juanfran Guevara ensured six KTMs would qualify in the top ten on the second RBA machine.