Niccolo Antonelli snatched pole position for tomorrow’s Malaysian Moto3 Grand Prix in another session dominated by farcical scenes involving traffic. Despite riding on one of the calendar’s longest and widest circuits, riders were seen constantly waiting together for slipstreams with Antonelli finally executing a clean lap at the last attempt to take pole.
Miguel Oliveira, the only rider left with a mathematical chance of catching Danny Kent in the world championship, set the early pace on a 2:12.893 and it looked as though the hard work would be done for him as his rivals proceeded to tip each other up. Kent was among those particularly affected with the points leader a target for riders seeking a slipstream and with time running out, frustration seemed to be getting the better of him.
The leading positions would remain unchanged until the chequered flag was thrown with Jorge Navarro ending Oliveira’s spell at the top with a 2:12.700 but a few metres behind him., Antonelli clocked a 2:12.653 to wrestle pole away immediately. Having failed to improve on his early effort, Oliveira was demoted to third and the outside of the front row.
Efren Vazquez took fourth for Leopard ahead of Jakub Kornfeil who secured fifth place for the Sepang International Circuit squad. Kent finally put the traffic issues behind in the dying seconds to qualify sixth, rescuing a session that looked set to leave him on the fifth row of the grid, while Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia, Kent’s nemesis in Australia, will line up right behind in seventh and eighth.
Enea Bastianini will start ninth ahead of home favourite Zulfahmi Khairuddin while Phillip Island polesitter John McPhee ended the day in thirteenth after a heavy crash in free practice.
MOTO3 SHELL MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING RESULT
|1||23. Niccolo Antonelli||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||2:12.653|
|2||9. Jorge Navarro||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||2:12.700|
|3||44. Miguel Oliveira||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||2:12.893|
|4||7. Efren Vazquez||Honda||Leopard Racing||2:12.956|
|5||84. Jakub Kornfeil||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||2:12.987|
|6||52. Danny Kent||Honda||Leopard Racing||2:12.994|
|7||5. Romano Fenati||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||2:13.106|
|8||21. Francesco Bagnaia||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||2:13.167|
|9||33. Enea Bastianini||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||2:12.232|
|10||63. Zulfahmi Khairuddin||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||2:12.280|
|11||76. Hiroki Ono||Honda||Leopard Racing||2:13.282|
|12||17. John McPhee||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||2:13.538|
|13||88. Jorge Martin||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||2:13.573|
|14||98. Karel Hanika||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||2:13.641|
|15||32. Isaac Vinales||KTM||RBA Racing Team||2:13.668|
|16||41. Brad Binder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||2:13.745|
|17||29. Stefano Manzi||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||2:13.980|
|18||65. Philipp Oettl||KTM||Schedl GP Racing||2:14.040|
|19||10. Alexis Masbou||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||2:14.045|
|20||91. Gabriel Rodrigo||KTM||RBA Racing Team||2:14.053|
|21||40. Darryn Binder||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||2:14.091|
|22||58. Juanfran Guevara||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||2:14.103|
|23||48. Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||2:14.116|
|24||16. Andrea Migno||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||2:14.200|
|25||6. Maria Herrera||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||2:14.217|
|26||11. Livio Loi||Honda||RW Racing GP||2:14.468|
|27||24. Tatsuki Suzuki||Mahindra||CIP||2:14.551|
|28||96. Manuel Pagliani||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||2:14.617|
|29||95. Jules Danilo||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||2:14.763|
|30||2. Remy Gardner||Mahindra||CIP||2:14.912|
|31||22. Ana Carrasco||KTM||RBA Racing Team||2:15.629|
|32||19. Alessandro Tonucci||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||No Time|
|33||55. Andrea Locatelli||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||No TIme|