Moto3

Folger Secures Home Pole Position For Aspar At Valencia

2 Mins read

Jonas Folger secured the final pole position of the Moto3 season with his final lap of qualifying at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, delighting the Valencia-based Aspar team. This time last year, Aspar were clinching the 125cc title with Nicolas Terol but their debut Moto3 campaign has been a testing experience, until the signing of Folger mid-season. The German edged out Miguel Oliveira for pole with Luis Salom rounding out the front row.

None of the three practice sessions prior to qualifying saw a fully dry track so John McPhee’s fastest time of the weekend was wiped out immediately. Maverick Vinales was the man to do so, clocking a 1:41.855, before going on to improve on his next lap, pulling out a third of a second over the rest of the field. With ten minutes completed, Folger was the nearest challenger while Romano Fenati had dropped his bike in the gravel trap in his attempts to get close.

Vinales led for the best part of half an hour but for whatever reason, he spent the closing stages of the session in the pits and was powerless to prevent others from beating him. Luis Salom, Vinales’ rival for runner-up in the championship, was the first to do so on a 1:41.441 but Maverick still held onto to second with a couple of minutes remaining.

Sandro Cortese, having languished outside the top ten earlier on, jumped up to second with his final lap of the session although the world champion did have a two-tenth advantage three quarters of the way around the lap. The German lost time when he encountered Zulfahmi Khairuddin in the final couple of corners and came up short by 0.065s.

There was still time for changes at the top of the leaderboard and Folger and Oliveira were the two lighting up the timing screens, towing each other round as they did so. Oliveira was the man benefitting from a slipstream but Folger’s 1:41.263 was fractionally too quick, keeping the Portuguese rider waiting for his maiden pole position.

With Salom third, Sandro Cortese finds himself back on the second row with Maverick Vinales and Efren Vazquez alongside. Danny Kent was pushed down to seventh by the late improvement of Oliveira and the Briton will have Niccolo Antonelli and Louis Rossi for company on row three. Kent still has hope of finishing fourth in the championship and with rivals Romano Fenati and Alex Rins eleventh and eighteenth respectively, it may still swing his way.

A dry track didn’t play into the hands of John McPhee who could only manage 29th while Danny Webb, polesitter on a 125 last season, couldn’t have imagined a bigger contrast twelve months on. He’ll start 34th with Mahindra teammate Miroslav Popov the only rider behind him.

5101 posts

About author
MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and WorldSBK writer for The Checkered Flag. Contact: [email protected]
Articles
Related posts
Moto2Moto3MotoEMotoGP

MotoGP: Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta updates on 2020

3 Mins read
Dorna CEO updates on 2020: we’re trying to maintain the races, which is the most important thing.
Moto2Moto3MotoEMotoGP

MotoGP: German, Dutch and Finnish Grand Prix cancelled

1 Mins read
The German, Dutch and Finnish Grand Prix are cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Moto3

Arenas snatches victory in a spectacular Moto3 season opener

1 Mins read
Albert Arenas claimed an incredible victory to kick off the 2020 Moto3 Championship