Brad Binder continued his positive start to the 2016 Moto3 season by claiming the first pole position of his Grand Prix career in Argentina. The South African missed out on his first victory in Qatar by seven thousandths of a second but no-one would deny him in qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo as he dominated the session.
Romano Fenati was the quickest rider through free practice but Binder immediately took control when qualifying got underway, clocking a 1:50.217. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider remained unbeaten until the halfway stage when an unlikely challenge emerged in the shape of Malaysian rookie Khairul Idham Pawi who edged ahead with a 1:50.204.
Any hopes of a maiden pole position for the Team Asia rider had been dashed before the session started with Pawi picking up a three-place grid penalty for dangerous riding in free practice but Binder ensured he wouldn’t top the qualifying timesheets, setting a 1:49.767 with sixteen minutes remaining to put pole position out of his rivals’ reach.
Romano Fenati would get closest, putting in a 1:50.091 in the dying seconds to edge out Jorge Navarro while Pawi was relegated to fourth, leaving him seventh on the grid once his penalty is applied. Nicolo Bulega will be promoted to fourth as a result with former CEV rival Joan Mir alongside in fifth, just ahead of Enea Bastianini. Pawi will have championship leader Niccolo Antonelli and Leopard rider Fabio Quartararo for company on row three while Livio Loi rounds out the top ten on tomorrow’s grid.
Moto3 Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina (Qualifying Classification)
[table id=911 /]