Folger Stuns The Spaniards To Take Misano Pole

by Louis Suddaby

Jonas Folger claimed his first pole position since Mugello to upset the Spanish trio that were expected to dominate at Misano. While Luis Salom battled for a respectable grid position despite being in obvious pain, Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales began the session as favourites but they were upstaged by an inspired Folger.

Vinales was quickest to get up and running with a 1:43.405, albeit slower than Rins had managed in practice, but the Team Calvo rider had the edge after their first runs with Rins having a lap time cancelled for exceeding track limits at turn eleven. Once he was able to stay within the white lines, Alex leapt straight to the top of the timesheet with a 1:43.399 and despite an instant response from Vinales, the Estrella Galicia rider had him covered.

Neither had accounted for Folger though who stormed to provisional pole position with a 1:43.002 but the German wasn’t done there and broke straight into the 1:42s. A 1:42.707 with four minutes remaining proved enough to secure pole position with a last ditch effort from Rins bringing him to within six hundredths of a second. Vinales was four tenths in arrears and will start from the outside of the front row.

With Salom in difficulty, the Red Bull Ajo KTM heading row two is that of Zulfahmi Khairuddin with Niccolo Antonelli the leading Italian rider in fifth for GO&FUN Gresini. Miguel Oliveira leads the Mahindra challenge in sixth ahead of Eric Granado who produced the best qualifying result of his career to take seventh.

Isaac Vinales lines up eighth with some high profile names behind him, no less so than Alex Marquez and Luis Salom who complete the top ten. Salom would have feared the worst after going no better than sixteenth in morning practice but a place on the fourth row will give him a fighting chance of limiting the damage to his championship lead tomorrow.

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