Oliveira Steals Argentina Pole from Kent

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Miguel Oliveira handed KTM their first pole position of the 2015 season after pipping Danny Kent in the dying seconds of qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo. The Portuguese rider only had a single pole position to his name before today but timed his late charge to perfection to edge out the championship leader who had looked comfortable at the top.

The session couldn’t have got off to a worse start for home favourite Gabriel Rodrigo, the sole Argentine rider in the field, who suffered a painful highside at turn five, adding to the two crashes he had on Friday morning. The RBA rider was stretchered away from the track and should he be passed fit to start his home Grand Prix tomorrow, Rodrigo will do so from the back of the grid.

Away from the mayhem, Isaac Vinales had matched the quickest free practice time with a 1:48.883 and it wasn’t until the final ten minutes that the Husqvarna was headed, Kent taking over on a 1:48.816. The Briton shrugged off a pack of riders keen to grab a slipstream from the Leopard Honda to go faster still four minutes from the end and suddenly, he enjoyed a quarter of a second lead.

Niccolo Antonelli had shown well earlier in the session and bounced back up to second in the dying seconds but the biggest improvement of all came from Oliveira who clocked the quickest ever Moto3 lap time of Termas de Rio Hondo, a 1:48.461. Kent and Antonelli claimed the remaining front row slots with Efren Vazquez beating Vinales to fourth after the Laglisse rider failed to better his early flyer.

Karel Hanika will start sixth on the second Red Bull Ajo KTM with Jorge Navarro seventh ahead of 2014 winner Romano Fenati and Hiroki Ono, the Japanese rider ensuring that Leopard Racing will have a bike on each on the front three rows.



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