John McPhee will start from pole position for the second time in three races but Danny Kent faces a real battle to claim the Moto3 world title tomorrow after qualifying a disastrous eighteenth. The championship leader was unable to deliver a fast lap amid traffic in the closing stages and starts fourteen places behind title rival Miguel Oliveira, who lines up fourth.
In the early stages of the session, with traffic much less of an issue, Kent chose to focus on race preparation and clocked consistent lap times in the 1:40s but that would prove to be a mistake, with his path blocked at every turn on his final run. McPhee had gone a different route and set a 1:39.364 nine minutes in, a time that would ultimately secure him pole position.
Jorge Navarro actually clocked a quicker time at the halfway stage but provisional pole was soon ripped from his grasp by race direction who adjudged him to have exceeded track limits at turn twelve, deleting his best attempt. Romano Fenati was the other beneficiary with the Sky VR46 rider promoted to second while Efren Vazquez salvaged some good news from the session for Leopard by completing the front row.
Oliveira didn’t enjoy the smoothest of sessions himself but a last ditch flyer lifted him to fourth ahead of Navarro while Italian pair Enea Bastianini and Niccolo Antonelli will start sixth and seventh as they prepare to contest third in the championship with Fenati. Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Karel Hanika and Brad Binder line up eighth and ninth and are sure to prove tricky obstacles for Kent tomorrow while the Briton’s other teammate, Hiroki Ono, is tenth on the grid.
MOTO3 GP MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA: QUALIFYING RESULT
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