Maverick Vinales took his first pole position for seven races with a dominant display on Saturday afternoon at Silverstone. The Spaniard, who has played second fiddle as Alex Rins and Luis Salom cleaned up the poles and victories, was in sensational form at the circuit he won at last year, taking top spot midway through the session and never being threatened from there.
Vinales had been the man to beat all weekend, setting the pace in morning practice and although he didn’t set the early pace in qualifying, no-one could challenge his best time of the weekend. Salom was quickest out of the blocks with a 2:14.377 but Vinales moved the goalposts completely with fifteen minutes to go, putting in a 2:13.533 to pull eight tenths clear of the competition.
The Team Calvo rider wasn’t finished there and improved by a further 0.026s on his next lap, just to show his rivals that it wasn’t a one-off and the focus for the rest of the session would be to see who joined him on the front row. Salom steadily lowered his personal best time to get within four tenths of Vinales but with a minute to go, Alex Rins went even faster to snatch second on the grid.
Jack Miller maintained his impressive run with fourth on the grid, equalling his career best qualifying result, while Jonas Folger put his Aspar Kalex-KTM fifth ahead of Alex Marquez who had a difficult afternoon. The young Spaniard was lucky to escape uninjured from a highside at Club midway through the session before returning to snatch sixth.
Isaac Vinales completed a good day for his particular family with seventh place ahead of Miguel Oliveira on the leading Mahindra while Niccolo Antonelli and Alexis Masbou completed the top ten. John McPhee performed well to qualify nineteenth on home soil while young wildcards Wayne Ryan and Kyle Ryde will start their first Grand Prix from 33rd and 35th respectively.