Jack Miller made a timely return to form at Misano this afternoon, claiming pole position for tomorrow’s San Marino Grand Prix. The championship leader has won only one of the last seven races as Honda have emerged as a serious force but responded like a potential champion to take pole ahead of Niklas Ajo and Silverstone winner Alex Rins.
The session looked set to be another story of Honda domination with Alex Marquez leaping straight to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:43.433. The 18 year old, who currently lies second in the championship, improved his time still further at the halfway mark and even when his supremacy was brought to a halt, it was Rins on the other Estrella Galicia Honda who took over.
Miller was something of a peripheral figure in the session up to this point having seen one of his quickest lap times deleted for exceeding track limits but with three minutes to go, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider came to life, becoming the first rider to break into the 1:42s. Niklas Ajo quickly joined him with a blistering lap on his Husqvarna but agonisingly for the Finn, he fell short of a maiden Moto3 pole by four thousandths of a second.
Alex Rins improved his time late on but despite a sensational final sector, the Spaniard could only manage a 1:43.012, four hundredths shy of pole position. He did ensure he would start ahead of his teammate Alex Marquez though with the younger Spaniard starting fourth, just in front of Miguel Oliveira and Britain’s Danny Kent.
Niccolo Antonelli lines up seventh despite a late crash ahead of Isaac Vinales, Efren Vazquez and Brad Binder but a tough run of luck shows no sign of turning for Romano Fenati who destroyed his Sky VR46 KTM in final practice and could only wrestle his repaired machine around to eleventh.