Fabio Quartararo has taken the first Moto3 pole position of his Grand Prix career after beating Danny Kent on Saturday at Jerez. The championship leader headed into qualifying as favourite having topped final practice but the Quartararo had other ideas, with the reigning CEV champion marking his first GP on Spanish soil with pole position.
Unlike in previous years, Spanish riders have not enjoyed their usual domination of the lightweight class but Isaac Vinales staked his claim for pole early on, clocking a 1:47.665. Danny Kent was having a frustrating start to the session with his attention taken by the pesky Romano Fenati who shadowed the Leopard Honda for almost the entire 40 minutes in the hope of finding a slipstream.
Kent finally found some clear tarmac to go quickest at the halfway stage to go fastest on a 1:47.163 but the Briton was only on top of the timesheets for a matter of seconds as Quartararo hit the front for the first time, breaking into the 1:46s. Kent maintained the momentum on his next lap to join the French rookie in the 1:47s but unfortunately for Leopard, he fell seven thousandths of a second short and wouldn’t improve again in the time that remained.
Quartararo did go slightly fastest to rubberstamp his maiden Grand Prix pole with Kent holding onto second while Miguel Oliveira gave KTM a bike on the front row with third place on a 1:46.984. The Portuguese rider saw his session come to a bizarre conclusion though as Italian rookie Stefano Manzi piled into the back of him while he waited for a practice start. Both avoided injury though with the Manzi suffering from a severe case of embarrassment, not helped by 33rd place grid slot.
Brad Binder heads an all-KTM second row ahead of Philipp Oettl and Karel Hanika with Enea Bastianini leading row three. Romano Fenati used the tow from Kent’s Honda to secure eighth on the grid ahead of Niccolo Antonelli and Jorge Navarro but John McPhee couldn’t find any pace on his Saxoprint-RTG Honda, leaving him down in 25th.
MOTO3 GRAN PREMIO BWIN DE ESPANA: QUALIFYING RESULT
|1||20. Fabio Quartararo||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||1:46.791|
|2||52. Danny Kent||Honda||Leopard Racing||1:46.911|
|3||44. Miguel Oliveira||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:46.984|
|4||41. Brad Binder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:47.180|
|5||65. Philipp Oettl||KTM||Schedl GP Racing||1:47.194|
|6||98. Karel Hanika||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:47.198|
|7||33. Enea Bastianini||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||1:47.251|
|8||5. Romano Fenati||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||1:47.355|
|9||23. Niccolo Antonelli||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||1:47.394|
|10||9. Jorge Navarro||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||1:47.400|
|11||10. Alexis Masbou||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||1:47.477|
|12||84. Jakub Kornfeil||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||1:47.528|
|13||32. Isaac Vinales||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||1:47.574|
|14||76. Hiroki Ono||Honda||Leopard Racing||1:47.657|
|15||88. Jorge Martin||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||1:47.689|
|16||21. Francesco Bagnaia||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||1:47.704|
|17||7. Efren Vazquez||Honda||Leopard Racing||1:47.709|
|18||58. Juanfran Guevara||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||1:47.773|
|19||31. Niklas Ajo||KTM||RBA Racing Team||1:47.794|
|20||12. Matteo Ferrari||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||1:47.857|
|21||95. Jules Danilo||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||1:47.889|
|22||11. Livio Loi||Honda||RW Racing GP||1:47.941|
|23||55. Andrea Locatelli||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||1:47.962|
|24||6. Maria Herrera||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||1:48.046|
|25||17. John McPhee||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||1:48.142|
|26||2. Remy Gardner||Mahindra||CIP||1:48.142|
|27||16. Andrea Migno||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||1:48.155|
|28||40. Darryn Binder||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||1:48.224|
|29||24. Tatsuki Suzuki||Mahindra||CIP||1:48.357|
|30||63. Zulfahmi Khairuddin||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||1:48.725|
|31||19. Alessandro Tonucci||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||1:48.925|
|32||91. Gabriel Rodrigo||KTM||RBA Racing Team||1:49.079|
|33||29. Stefano Manzi||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||1:49.266|
|34||22. Ana Carrasco||KTM||RBA Racing Team||1:50.045|