Last Gasp Fenati Snatches Pole in Qatar

Romano Fenati denied Livio Loi his maiden Moto3 pole position with a sensational last gasp effort in qualifying at Losail. Loi had been the dominant rider in free practice and looked set for pole after taking top spot midway through the session but Fenati’s final lap of the evening triggered celebratory scenes in the Sky Racing VR46 camp.

Under the Losail floodlights, Fenati made the brightest start, becoming the first rider to break into the 2:06s bracket seven minutes in. The balance of power would soon shift from Sky VR46 to Leopard Racing with Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir towing each other to first and second respectively but the French youngster found improvements tough going from that point onwards, sliding off the track twice in the space of a lap as he chased a quicker lap time.

Quartararo’s mood wasn’t helped by the sight of Loi snatching provisional pole, the Belgian clocking a 2:06.520 shortly after halfway and when the RW Racing rider improved by a further three tenths on his final run, pole appeared to be his.  That still seemed to be the case when the chequered flag flew but despite a deficit of two tenths heading into the final sector, Fenati hauled it back with a superb run through the final sequence of bends, seeing him pip Loi to pole by 0.047s.

Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder worked expertly to slipstream themselves up the order, finishing third and eighth respectively, but three-place penalties for both will drop them down the grid after they were found guilty of riding too slowly on the racing line. Quartararo will be promoted onto the front row as a result while Estrella Galicia duo Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet will line up fourth and fifth, just ahead of Binder.

Niccolo Antonelli will start seventh despite a crash at turn thirteen with Enea Bastianini and Philipp Oettl alongside on row three while Bendsneyder’s penalty lifts fellow rookie Joan Mir into the top ten.


Moto3 Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar (Qualifying Classification)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
15. Romano FenatiKTMSky Racing Team VR462:06.131
211. Livio LoiHondaRW Racing GP BV2:06.178
341. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo2:06.245
420. Fabio QuartararoKTMLeopard Racing2:06.399
59. Jorge NavarroHondaEstrella Galicia 0,02:06.448
644. Aron CanetHondaEstrella Galicia 0,02:06.462
723. Niccolo AntonelliHondaOngetta-Rivacold2:06.536
864. Bo BendsneyderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo2:06.539
933. Enea BastianiniHondaGresini Racing Moto32:06.657
1065. Philipp OettlKTMSchedl GP Racing2:06.707
1136. Joan MirKTMLeopard Racing2:06.728
1221. Francesco BagnaiaMahindraASPAR MAHINDRA Team Moto32:06.733
138. Nicolo BulegaKTMSky Racing Team VR462:06.786
1488. Jorge MartinMahindraASPAR MAHINDRA Team Moto32:06.931
1558. Juanfran GuevaraKTMRBA Racing Team2:06.939
1684. Jakub KornfeilHondaDrive M7 SIC Racing Team2:06.948
1789. Khairul Idham PawiHondaHonda Team Asia2:06.982
1819. Gabriel RodrigoKTMRBA Racing Team2:06.983
1916. Andrea MignoKTMSky Racing Team VR462:07.101
2055. Andrea LocatelliKTMLeopard Racing2:07.170
2110. Alexis MasbouPeugeotPeugeot MC Saxoprint2:07.209
2295. Jules DaniloHondaOngetta-Rivacold2:07.220
2398. Karel HanikaMahindraPlatinum Bay Real Estate2:07.359
246. Maria HerreraKTMTeam Laglisse2:07.371
2524. Tatsuki SuzukiMahindraCIP-Unicom Starker2:07.441
2640. Darryn BinderMahindraPlatinum Bay Real Estate2:07.558
277. Adam NorrodinHondaDrive M7 SIC Racing Team2:07.582
284. Fabio di GiannantonioHondaGresini Racing Moto32:07.611
2976. Hiroki OnoHondaHonda Team Asia2:07.801
3017. John McPheePeugeotPeugeot MC Saxoprint2:07.847
3143. Stefano ValtuliniMahindra3570 Team Italia2:08.336
323. Fabio SpiranelliMahindraCIP-Unicom Starker2:10.229
3377. Lorenzo PetrarcaMahindra3570 Team Italia2:10.433