Brad Binder claimed pole position in the Moto3 class as the Catalunya Grand Prix weekend resumed at a sombre Barcelona. With the tragic loss of Luis Salom on Friday still in everybody’s thoughts, qualifying took place as scheduled following the wishes of his family and Binder emerged on top in the lightweight class, edging out Niccolo Antonelli.
One of the big questions heading into qualifying surrounded the revised track layout with the riders forced to adjust to the Formula 1 configuration. At first, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammates looked most at ease with Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet trading fastest times, the younger Spaniard holding provisional pole as the first runs were completed.
Canet’s 1:54.970 remained unbeaten until the halfway stage of the session when Navarro regained the upper hand, shaving three tenths off his teammate’s time, and the 20-year-old made an even bigger step forward with thirteen minutes remaining, lowering the benchmark to a 1:54.408.
The private battle for pole was blown wide open with a minute to go with Antonelli clocking a 1:54.123, only for Binder to immediately usurp the Italian, while the duo made further improvements on their last laps, Antonelli jumping back ahead of the South African only to hand pole position back to the championship leader seconds later.
Navarro saved a personal best for his final lap but couldn’t lift himself higher than third while reigning CEV champion Nicolo Bulega shone around another Spanish track, claiming fourth ahead of Enea Bastianini and Khairul Idham Pawi. Francesco Bagnaia is the leading Mahindra in seventh, just ahead of Jules Danilo, while Canet was relegated to ninth, one spot in front of Mugello polesitter Romano Fenati.
Moto3 Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya (Qualifying Classification)
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