Philipp Oettl dealt best with the difficult conditions in qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas to claims his maiden Moto3 pole position. The German used supreme skill and expert tactics to outpace Jorge Navarro and Enea Bastianini while several big names were caught out by a mid-session rain shower.
Rainfall during the final Moto2 practice session left a damp track for the lightweight class riders but Oettl was clearly the man with most confidence in the conditions. The Schedl GP rider leapt to the top of the leaderboard with his first timed lap of the afternoon and was never usurped as he made improvement after improvement.
As the halfway stage approached, Oettl had lowered the benchmark time to a 2:18.398 with Navarro closing a gap that grew as large as six seconds at one stage to just 0.587s. With heavy rain now falling, the top grid positions were effectively decided with Oettl on pole from Navarro and Bastianini. Jakub Kornfeil, another rider to venture out early, qualified fourth ahead of Romano Fenati while Adam Norrodin secured a second row start in sixth, just six days after the heartbreaking loss of a podium in Argentina.
Andrea Locatelli will line up seventh for Leopard ahead of Jules Danilo and Fabio Quartararo while Livio Loi’s positive start to 2016 continued, the Belgian securing tenth spot. The riders caught out after staying in the garage early on included Qatar GP winner Niccolo Antonelli who will have to charge through the field from 30th place with Argentine GP winner Khairul Idham Pawi one place further back in 31st.
Moto3 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas (Qualifying Classification)
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