John McPhee will start from pole position for the third time in his Moto3 career after an impressive display in qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo. The Briton, who finished second in the season opener at Losail, edged out Nicolo Bulega for pole with early championship leader Joan Mir down in sixteenth despite dominating free practice.
The session began in dramatic fashion for Aspar Mahindra’s Albert Arenas who suffered a horrendous highside on his first timed lap of the afternoon. The Spaniard walked away from the scene despite a painful fall through the gravel and a collision with his own motorcycle and to his immense credit, rejoined the session later on to qualify nineteenth.
Mir had looked set to continue his practice form after going fastest on his very first attempt but surprisingly, the Leopard rider would barely improve in the remainder of the session. Within five minutes, he was knocked off the top by Andrea Migno before the pole spot was traded between two other Italians, Romano Fenati and Fabio Di Giannantonio towing each other to front row positions.
With thirteen minutes to go, Qatar polesitter Jorge Martin moved to the top but his spell on provisional pole was rather brief, McPhee clocking a 1:49.094 seconds later to secure top spot. With rain starting to fall in the closing stages, his place at the front of the grid was safe.
Nicolo Bulega bucked the trend late on, improving where others didn’t, to go second ahead of Martin while Aron Canet edged out Di Giannantonio and Fenati to head the second row. Juanfran Guevara knocked Migno down to eighth while Tatsuki Suzuki and Philipp Oettl completed the top ten.
Moto3 Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina: Qualifying Result
|1||17. John McPhee||Honda||British Talent Team||1:49.094|
|2||8. Nicolo Bulega||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||1:49.248|
|3||88. Jorge Martin||Honda||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||1:49.323|
|4||44. Aron Canet||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||1:49.463|
|5||21. Fabio Di Giannantonio||Honda||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||1:49.486|
|6||5. Romano Fenati||Honda||Marinelli Rivacold Snipers||1:49.493|
|7||58. Juanfran Guevara||KTM||RBA BOE Racing Team||1:49.782|
|8||16. Andrea Migno||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||1:49.830|
|9||24. Tatsuki Suzuki||Honda||SIC58 Squadra Corse||1:49.843|
|10||65. Philipp Oettl||KTM||Südmetall Schedl GP Racing||1:49.860|
|11||40. Darryn Binder||KTM||Platinum Bay Real Estate||1:49.901|
|12||11. Livio Loi||Honda||Leopard Racing||1:49.927|
|13||19. Gabriel Rodrigo||KTM||RBA BOE Racing Team||1:49.935|
|14||23. Niccolo Antonelli||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:49.974|
|15||33. Enea Bastianini||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||1:49.978|
|16||36. Joan Mir||Honda||Leopard Racing||1:50.025|
|17||64. Bo Bendsneyder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:50.042|
|18||27. Kaito Toba||Honda||Honda Team Asia||1:50.067|
|19||75. Albert Arenas||Mahindra||MAHINDRA MOTARD Aspar||1:50.093|
|20||6. Maria Herrera||KTM||AGR Team||1:50.107|
|21||7. Adam Norrodin||Honda||SIC Racing Team||1:50.126|
|22||84. Jakub Kornfeil||Peugeot||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||1:50.163|
|23||12. Marco Bezzecchi||Mahindra||CIP||1:50.250|
|24||14. Tony Arbolino||Honda||SIC58 Squadra Corse||1:50.328|
|25||71. Ayumu Sasaki||Honda||SIC Racing Team||1:50.668|
|26||48. Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Mahindra||MAHINDRA MOTARD Aspar||1:50.681|
|27||42. Marcos Ramirez||KTM||Platinum Bay Real Estate||1:50.727|
|28||95. Jules Danilo||Honda||Marinelli Rivacold Snipers||1:50.781|
|29||41. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat||Honda||Honda Team Asia||1:51.180|
|30||4. Patrik Pulkkinen||Peugeot||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||1:52.615|
|31||96. Manuel Pagliani||Mahindra||CIP||Penalty (+12)|